Sound Emblems for Affective Multimodal Output of a Robotic Tutor: A Perception Study

Helen Hastie, Pascale Dente, Dennis Küster, Arvid Kappas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


Human and robot tutors alike have to give careful consideration as to how feedback is delivered to students to provide a motivating yet clear learning context. Here, we performed a perception study to investigate attitudes towards negative and positive robot feedback in terms of perceived emotional valence on the dimensions of 'Pleasantness', 'Politeness' and 'Naturalness'. We find that, indeed, negative feedback is perceived as significantly less polite and pleasant. Unlike humans who have the capacity to leverage various paralinguistic cues to convey subtle variations of meaning and emotional climate, presently robots are much less expressive. However, they have one advantage that they can combine synthetic robotic sound emblems with verbal feedback. We investigate whether these sound emblems, and their position in the utterance, can be used to modify the perceived emotional valence of the robot feedback. We discuss this in the context of an adaptive robotic tutor interacting with students in a multimodal learning environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781450345569
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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