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Do I trust you, abstract creature?: a study on personality perception of abstract virtual faces

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Ferstl,  Y
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Ferstl, Y., Kokkinara, E., & McDonnell, R. (2016). Do I trust you, abstract creature?: a study on personality perception of abstract virtual faces. In E. Jain, & S. Joerg (Eds.), ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP '16) (pp. 39-43). New York, NY, USA: ACM Press.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-7A86-0
Abstract
Studies in the field of social psychology have shown evidence that the dimensions of human facial features can directly impact the perception of personality of that human. Traits such as aggressiveness, trustworthiness and dominance have been directly correlated with facial features. If the same correlations were true for virtual faces, this could be a valuable design guideline to direct the creation of characters with intended personalities. In particular, this is relevant for extremely abstract characters that have minimal facial features (often seen in video games and movies), and rely heavily on these features for portraying personality. We conducted an exploratory study in order to retrieve insights about the way certain facial features affect the perceived personality, as well as affinity of very abstract virtual faces. We specifically tested the effect of different head shapes, eye shapes and eye sizes. Interestingly, our findings show that the same rules for real human faces do not apply to the perception of abstract faces, and in some cases are the complete reverse. These results provide us with a better understanding of the perception of abstract virtual faces, and a starting point for the creation of guidelines for how to portray personality using minimal facial cues.