A Second Chance to Make a First Impression? How Appearance and Nonverbal Behavior Affect Perceived Warmth and Competence of Virtual Agents over Time

  • Kirsten Bergmann
  • Friederike Eyssel
  • Stefan Kopp
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7502)


First impressions of others are fundamental for the further development of a relationship and are thus of major importance for the design of virtual agents, too. We addressed the question whether there is a second chance for first impressions with regard to the major dimensions of social cognition–warmth and competence. We employed a novel experimental set-up that combined agent appearance (robot-like vs. human-like) and agent behavior (gestures present vs. absent) of virtual agents as between-subject factors with a repeated measures design. Results indicate that ratings of warmth depend on interaction effects of time and agent appearance, while evaluations of competence seem to depend on the interaction of time and nonverbal behavior. Implications of these results for basic and applied research on intelligent virtual agents will be discussed .


Evaluation agent appearance nonverbal behavior warmth competence 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsten Bergmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Friederike Eyssel
    • 1
  • Stefan Kopp
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center of Excellence in “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC)Bielefeld UniversityGermany
  2. 2.Collaborative Research Center 673 “Alignment in Communication”Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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