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The effect of an avatar's emotional expressions on players' fear reactions: The mediating role of embodiment


Hofer, Matthias; Hüsser, Andreas Philippe; Sujay, Prabhu (2017). The effect of an avatar's emotional expressions on players' fear reactions: The mediating role of embodiment. Computers in Human Behavior, 75:883-890.

Abstract

This research aimed to demonstrate the effects of an avatar's emotional expressions on players' fear reactions during horror gameplay. In Study 1, we found that the emotional expressions of an avatar decreased fear reactions among players. This effect was mediated by avatar embodiment. More precisely, avatar emotional expressions lower avatar embodiment, which, in turn, positively predicts players' fear reactions. In Study 2, we replicated the findings of Study 1. In addition, we found that the effects observed in Study 1 were only present in interactive gameplay - not when players watched screencaptured footage of the game. In other words, we found evidence of a moderated mediation model in which interactivity moderates the effects of an avatar's emotional expressions on players' fear reactions through avatar embodiment.

Abstract

This research aimed to demonstrate the effects of an avatar's emotional expressions on players' fear reactions during horror gameplay. In Study 1, we found that the emotional expressions of an avatar decreased fear reactions among players. This effect was mediated by avatar embodiment. More precisely, avatar emotional expressions lower avatar embodiment, which, in turn, positively predicts players' fear reactions. In Study 2, we replicated the findings of Study 1. In addition, we found that the effects observed in Study 1 were only present in interactive gameplay - not when players watched screencaptured footage of the game. In other words, we found evidence of a moderated mediation model in which interactivity moderates the effects of an avatar's emotional expressions on players' fear reactions through avatar embodiment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Human-Computer Interaction, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), General Psychology
Language:English
Date:13 June 2017
Deposited On:15 Jan 2018 13:27
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 12:55
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0747-5632
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.06.024

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