from the \o/-give-me-some-money-please dept.
The study revealed that participants were more willing to cooperate with animated avatars than with static figures representing their negotiation partners. It also found -- somewhat surprisingly -- that people were more willing to accept unfair offers from unfriendly avatars than from friendly ones.
"This work is an extension of previous studies exploring how nonverbal cues influence people's perceptions of one another," said Matthew Moore, who led the research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with psychology professors Florin Dolcos and Sanda Dolcos. The new research was conducted at the U. of I.'s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, where Moore was a postdoctoral fellow.
"Nonverbal interactions represent a huge part of human communication," Sanda Dolcos said. "We might not be aware of this, but much of the information that we take in is through these nonverbal channels."
Previous studies often used still photos or other static representations of people engaged in social interactions to study how people form opinions or make decisions, Florin Dolcos said.
"By animating the avatars, we're capturing interactions that are much closer to what happens in real-life situations," he said.
[...] "If we better understand the mechanisms involved, then we can better understand things like how to intervene," he said. "So, for example, if we have a goal of increasing cooperation or helping people make adaptive decisions, then we have clearer targets for our interventions."
Moore, Matthew, Katsumi, Yuta, Dolcos, Sanda, et al. Electrophysiological Correlates of Social Decision-making: An EEG Investigation of a Modified Ultimatum Game, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01782)