Bigger (Gesture) Isn’t Always Better

  • David NovickEmail author
  • Ivan Gris
  • Adriana Camacho
  • Alex Rayon
  • Timothy Gonzalez
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10271)


The literature suggests that familiarity and rapport are enhanced by larger, more extraverted gestures. However, the sizes of the increases in amplitude have not been reported. We sought to determine whether this relationship holds true for interaction between humans and embodied conversational agents. To this end, we conducted an experiment in which we increased gesture amplitude, with quantification of the gesture sizes. We hypothesized that rapport would be increased in the larger-gesture condition. However, our results were exactly the opposite: Rapport fell significantly in the larger-gesture condition. This means that larger may not always be better for building human-agent rapport. Our unexpected results may be because our agent’s gestures were simply too big, odd, awkward, or strange, or because of a statistical anomaly.


Embodied conversational agent Gesture amplitude Rapport 



The authors thank Jonathan Daggerhart for permission to adapt his original text- based adventure game into “Escape from the Castle of the Vampire King,” and Diego A. Rivera, Mario Gutierrez Baltazar Santaella, Juan Vicario, Joel Quintana and Anuar Jauregui for their help in developing the game.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Novick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ivan Gris
    • 1
  • Adriana Camacho
    • 1
  • Alex Rayon
    • 1
  • Timothy Gonzalez
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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