ILHAIRE represented with four contributions at the LiMaDoKo congress in Zurich

Posted on Fri 23 May 2014by by Jennifer Hofmann
The ILHAIRE project is in the midst of its third and final year and it’s a particularly busy year for the team at the University of Zurich, leading Work Package 5. At the moment, six studies are running in parallel (at different stages of completion) to work towards the goals of Work Package 5 (the Psychological Foundations of Laughter and Inter-Individual Differences). To disseminate our results and to get the ILHAIRE project known among the psychology community in Switzerland, we presented the (preliminary) results of four studies at this years’ LiMaDoKo conference.

Two studies presented the results on inter-individual differences when engaging with avatar laughter. In one approach, an e-learning setting where the virtual tutor feedback was either humorous or serious was evaluated. In the second study, individuals with or without a fear of being laughed at created avatar laughter that was non-threatening to them, by modifying the avatars’ face and voice. Another two posters focused on a study on laughter-eliciting emotions. Here, emotions were elicited when participants were unobserved, and later they posed expressions of the same emotions. Like this, we are able to compare facial responses to emotions when they are expressed spontaneously (and people feel unobserved) and when people arein a social situation and pose the displays (portraying what people think they would show when they feel a certain emotion). We focused on laughter-eliciting emotions in order to enable the avatars of the future to also portray these displays.

We had the opportunity to get feedback on our work and talk to other researchers interested in virtual agents and laughter. Last but not least, one of our students won the third place in the poster awards in the „Master“ category. Thus, it was a successful conference for the team of Professor Ruch and ILHAIRE.

Jennifer Hofmann