Visual Femininity and Masculinity in Synthetic Characters and Patterns of Affect

  • Agneta Gulz
  • Felix Ahlner
  • Magnus Haake
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4738)


It has been shown that users of a digital system perceive a more ’masculine-sounding’ female voice as more persuasive and intelligent than a corresponding but more ’feminine-sounding’ female voice. Our study explores whether a parallel pattern of affectively colored evaluations can be elicited when femininity and masculinity are manipulated via visual cues instead of via voice. 80 participants encountered synthetic characters, visually manipulated in terms of femininity and masculinity but with voice, spoken content, linguistic style and role of characters held constant. Evaluations of the two female characters differed in accordance with stereotype predictions - with the exception of competence-related traits; for the two male characters evaluations differed very little. The pattern for male versus female characters was slightly in opposite to stereotype predictions. Possible explanations for these results are proposed. In conclusion we discuss the value of being aware of how different traits in synthetic characters may interact.


Gender Stereotype Affective Response Male Character Female Character Female Voice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agneta Gulz
    • 1
  • Felix Ahlner
    • 1
  • Magnus Haake
    • 2
  1. 1.Div. of Cognitive Science, Lund UniversitySweden
  2. 2.Dept. of Design Sciences, Lund UniversitySweden

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