Empathic Virtual Agents
Within the EU Framework V project VICTEC we develop a running model of empathy that is based on both empirical results and a state-of-the-art general psychological theory and can be implemented in virtual agents. Empathy focuses on the ability of one person (the so called ”observer”) to perceive, to identify and to deal with the emotions of a social partner (whether virtual or human agent; ”target”). Most contemporary empathy researchers (e.g.  ) agree that two aspects concerning the result of an empathic process have to be distinguished: the cognitive and the affective aspect. Thus, one speaks of cognitive empathy when the outcome of an empathic process is that the observer knows what the target feels. Affective empathy is spoken of when the observer feels something due to the perception of the target.
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