Emotional Empathy and Facial Mimicry of Avatar Faces

Angela Saquinaula

Adriel Juarez

Joe Geigel

Reynold Bailey

Cecilia O. Alm

We explore the extent to which empathetic reactions are elicited when subjects view 3D motion-capture driven avatar faces compared to viewing human faces. Through a remote study, we captured subjects’ facial reactions when viewing avatar and humans faces, and elicited self reported feedback regarding empathy. Avatar faces varied by gender and realism. Results show no sign of facial mimicry; only mimicking of slight facial movements with no solid consistency. Participants tended to empathize with avatars when they could adequately identify the stimulus’ emotion. As avatar realism increased, it negatively impacted the subjects’ feelings towards the stimuli.

This publication uses Facial Expression Analysis which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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