Design and Validation of a Virtual Human System for Interpersonal Skills Education

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To provide insight into how changing the visual display component affected interaction with a virtual human, we designed two comparative user studies. The first study compared two immersive visual displays - a large-screen projection display and a more immersive head-mounted display. Results suggested that higher immersion may impair users' ability to accurately reflect upon their own performance. Participants in the head-mounted display condition were less accurate in evaluating their use of empathy. Following up on results from the first study, the second study compared two non immersive visual displays--a plasma television and a smaller computer monitor. Results suggested that displays that enable life-size scale virtual humans enhance user performance. Participants in the plasma television condition were more engaged, empathetic, pleasant, and natural.

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