Interacting with Virtual Agents in Shared Space: Single and Joint Effects of Gaze and Proxemics

Jan Kolkmeier, Jered Hendrik Vroon, Dirk K.J. Heylen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    The Equilibrium Theory put forward by Argyle and Dean, posits that in human-human interactions, gaze and proxemic behaviors work together in establishing and maintaining a particular level of intimacy. This theory has been evaluated and used in Virtual Reality settings where people interact with Virtual Humans. In this study we disentangle the single and joint effects of proxemic and gaze behavior in this setting further, and examine how these behaviors affect the perceived personality of the agents. We simulate a social encounter with Virtual Humans in immersive Virtual Reality. Gaze and proxemic behaviors of the agents are manipulated dynamically while the participants’ gaze and proxemic responses are being measured. As could be expected, participants showed strongest gaze and proxemic responses when agents manipulated both at the same time. However, agents that only manipulated gaze elicited weaker responses compared to agents that only manipulated proxemics. Agents that exhibited more directed gaze and reduced interpersonal distance were attributed higher scores on intimacy related items than agents that exhibited averted gaze and increased interpersonal distance.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2016
    EditorsDavid Traum, William Swartout, Peter Khooshabeh, Stefan Kopp, Stefan Scherer, Anton Leuski
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-47664-3
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2016
    Event16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2016 - Los Angeles, United States
    Duration: 20 Sep 201623 Sep 2016
    Conference number: 16

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Conference16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2016
    Abbreviated titleIVA
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityLos Angeles


    • immersive VR
    • EWI-27438
    • Gaze
    • IR-102921
    • Virtual Humans
    • METIS-320896
    • Proxemics

    Cite this