†††††† Can Immersive Virtual Humans Teach Social Conversation Protocols?

 A study was conducted to investigate the effects of using immersive virtual humans to teach users social conversational verbal and non-verbal protocols in south Indian culture.  The study was conducted using a between-subjects experimental design, and compared instruction and interactive feedback from immersive virtual humans against instruction based on a written study guide with illustrations of the social protocols.  Participants were then tested on how well they learned the social conversational protocols by exercising the social conventions in front of videos of real people.  We also measured the participantsí pre and post positive and negative affect of training in both conditions, as well as the effect of co-presence with the life size virtual south Indians.  The results of our study suggest that participants who trained with the virtual humans performed significantly better than the participants who studied from literature.  The results also revealed that there was no significant difference in positive or negative affect between conditions. However, overall for all participants in both conditions, positive affect increased and negative affect decreased from before to after instruct

 


Demonstration video in Windows Media Video format: http://suntel01.uncc.edu/sbabu/VR2007/SouthIndia.wmv

 


Publications:

Babu, S., Barnes, T., Hodges, L.F. (2007). Using Immersive Virtual Humans for Training in Social Conversational Protocols in a South Indian Culture, published in the IEEE International Conference on Virtual Reality 2007.