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Research on Interactive Avatars


I have used avatars during live and prerecorded conversations to examine personality perception, influence, and preference in neurotypical adults and children with and without autism.

Conversing with Children: Cartoon and Video People Elicit Similar Conversational Behaviors

Children treat cartoons and real people similarly during videoconferencing interactions.


Hyde, J., Kiesler, S., Hodgins, J. K., & Carter, E. J. (2014, April). Conversing with children: cartoon and video people elicit similar conversational behaviors. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1787-1796). ACM. (link)

Assessing the Effects of Avatar Characteristics on Interactions with Adults

Increased facial expression positively correlated with perceived extroversion but decreased realism and naturalness. Additionally, modifying facial motion affects persuasiveness.


Hyde, J., Carter, E.J., Kiesler, S., & Hodgins, J.K. (2015). Using an interactive animated avatar’s facial expressiveness to increase persuasiveness and socialness. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Seoul, April 2015. (link)


Facial motion magnitude was positively correlated with emotional expressiveness but negatively correlated with naturalness.


Hyde, J., Carter, E. J., Kiesler, S., & Hodgins, J. K. (2014, August). Assessing naturalness and emotional intensity: a perceptual study of animated facial motion. In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (pp. 15-22). (link)

Are Children with Autism More Responsive To Animated Characters?

Children with autism do not prefer to interact with a cartoon over a human therapist. 


Carter, E.J., Hyde, J., Williams, D.L., & Hodgins, J.K. (2016). Investigating the influence of avatar facial characteristics on the social behaviors of children with autism. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, San Jose, May 2016.


Carter, E.J., Williams, D.L., Hodgins, J.K., & Lehman, J.F. (2014). Are children with autism more responsive to animated characters? A study of interactions with humans and human-controlled avatars. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(10), 2475-2485. (link)

Perceptual Effects of Damped and Exaggerated Facial Motion in Animated Characters

Realistic-looking characters benefited from increased motion whereas cartoon characters benefitted from damped motion. The amount of facial motion correlated with perceptions of extraversion.


Hyde, J., Carter, E. J., Kiesler, S., & Hodgins, J. K. (2013, April). Perceptual effects of damped and exaggerated facial motion in animated characters. In Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG), 2013 10th IEEE International Conference and Workshops on (pp. 1-6). (link)

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