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Wilhelm-Exner Prize for Psychology goes to VR-researcher Oswald D. Kothgassner

The Wilhelm-Exner-Prize for Psychology 2014 goes to VR-Lab Director Oswald D. Kothgassner for his research about human behavior after they were socially excluded by virtual agents or avatars.

Read the abstract of his current paper about Social Exclusion in Virtual Reality published in the Proceedings of the International Society for Presence Research:

Does social exclusion hurt virtually like it hurts in real life? The role of agency and social presence in the perception and experience of social exclusion by Oswald D. Kothgassner, Johanna Xenia Kafka, Johanna Rudyk, Leon Beutl, Helmut Hlavacs and Anna Felnhofer; 2014

Abstract. Previous research demonstrated effects of social exclusion in
experimental face-to-face interactions as well as in digital interactions (e.g. the
Cyberball paradigm) and text based communication (e.g. chat rooms), but there is only little research done about social exclusion in more mundane computer-mediated environments compared to face-to-face interactions. The current study investigates effects of social exclusion on participants’ needs satisfaction,
aggression and physiological arousal as well as on the experienced social presence within an immersive virtual environment with respect to the virtual characters’ agency. Results indicate that social exclusion threatens fundamental human needs and increases aggression in face-to-face situations as well as in interactions with avatars and agents. Alongside these results, no evidence was found, that avatars and agents evoke different levels of social presence in the participants. Moreover, this study depicts that inclusionary state as well as agency seems to influence physiological arousal during social exclusion. These findings have implications for understanding how an avatar’s agency in collaborative virtual environments as well as in computer games will affect psychological and physiological responses to social exclusion.

Full Text is available here: www.researchgate.net/publication/259741964_Does_social_exclusion_hurt_virtually_like_it_hurts_in_real-life_The_role_of_agency_and_social_presence_in_the_perception_and_experience_of_social_exclusion/file/9c96052d86aa955e2e.pdf

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Fakultät für Psychologie
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