Etiquette and Efficacy in Animated Pedagogical Agents: The Role of Stereotypes

Kristen N. Moreno, Natalie K. Person, Amy B. Adcock, Richard N. Van Eck, G. Tanner Jackson, and Johanna C. Marineau

Recent advances in the development of intelligent tutoring systems include the addition of animated conversational agents that play the role of tutors (Person and Graesser 2002). These pedagogical agents can be programmed to behave in accordance with many social expectations, such as displaying appropriate nonverbal behaviors (e.g., Cassell et al. 1994). Failure to conform to these interaction norms could be perceived by a human as a breach of etiquette. Indeed, Reeves and Nass (1996) present compelling evidence that humans apply the same rules of social interaction to computers as to other humans. For example, people are polite when interacting with computers, even though computers presumably lack the human capacity to appreciate courtesy.

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