Using Theory of Mind methods to investigate empathic engagement with synthetic characters

Lynne Hall, Sarah Woods, Ruth Aylett, Ana Paiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the simulation of human-likess capabilities in synthetic characters within the domain of Personal and Social Education. Our aim was to achieve socially meaningful and engaging interactions with children in the 8-12 age group to enable an exploration of bullying and coping strategies. We consider the engagement between the interacting partners, focusing particularly on the affective and empathic aspects of this relationship. We have used Theory of Mind methods to enable us to evaluate children's understanding of social scenarios and the thinking of others. The results from this 345 children study highlight that children are able to recognize and interpret affect in synthetic characters and are empathically engaged with the characters in the scenarios. © 2006 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-370
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Humanoid Robotics
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Empathic characters
  • Synthetic agents
  • Theory of Mind

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