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Virtual bystanders in a language lesson: examining the effect of social evaluation, vicarious experience, cognitive consistency and praising on students' beliefs, self-efficacy and anxiety in a virtual reality environment.

Qu C, Ling Y, Heynderickx I, Brinkman WP - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The results show that the expressed attitude of virtual bystanders towards the participants affected their self-efficacy, and their avoidance behavior.Still, inconsistency, instead of consistency, between the bystanders' attitudes towards virtual peers and the participants was not found to result in a larger change in the participants' beliefs.Finally the results also reveal that virtual flattering or destructive criticizing affected the participants' beliefs not only about the virtual bystanders, but also about the neutral teacher.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Interactive Intelligence Group, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Bystanders in a real world's social setting have the ability to influence people's beliefs and behavior. This study examines whether this effect can be recreated in a virtual environment, by exposing people to virtual bystanders in a classroom setting. Participants (n = 26) first witnessed virtual students answering questions from an English teacher, after which they were also asked to answer questions from the teacher as part of a simulated training for spoken English. During the experiment the attitudes of the other virtual students in the classroom was manipulated; they could whisper either positive or negative remarks to each other when a virtual student was talking or when a participant was talking. The results show that the expressed attitude of virtual bystanders towards the participants affected their self-efficacy, and their avoidance behavior. Furthermore, the experience of witnessing bystanders commenting negatively on the performance of other students raised the participants' heart rate when it was their turn to speak. Two-way interaction effects were also found on self-reported anxiety and self-efficacy. After witnessing bystanders' positive attitude towards peer students, participants' self-efficacy when answering questions received a boost when bystanders were also positive towards them, and a blow when bystanders reversed their attitude by being negative towards them. Still, inconsistency, instead of consistency, between the bystanders' attitudes towards virtual peers and the participants was not found to result in a larger change in the participants' beliefs. Finally the results also reveal that virtual flattering or destructive criticizing affected the participants' beliefs not only about the virtual bystanders, but also about the neutral teacher. Together these findings show that virtual bystanders in a classroom can affect people's beliefs, anxiety and behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Facial expressions used in the experiment and virtual students (bystanders) whispering to each other (screenshots).(a) a virtual student showing an angry facial expression, (b) a virtual student showing a happy facial expression, (c) students whispering at the participant’s left side, (d) students whispering in front of the participant, and (e) students whispering at the participant’s right side.
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pone.0125279.g003: Facial expressions used in the experiment and virtual students (bystanders) whispering to each other (screenshots).(a) a virtual student showing an angry facial expression, (b) a virtual student showing a happy facial expression, (c) students whispering at the participant’s left side, (d) students whispering in front of the participant, and (e) students whispering at the participant’s right side.

Mentions: Only the virtual bystander students were able to show positive or negative behavior in the different experimental conditions. This behavior mainly consisted of facial expressions and whispering to each other, as illustrated in Fig 3. Two facial expressions were used in this experiment: angry (see Fig 3A) and happy (see Fig 3B) to express negative or positive behavior respectively. The facial expression was achieved by a repeatable facial expression animation method, explained and evaluated in a previous study by Broekens, Qu [62]. Different attitudes of the students were also expressed in their whispers. In the positive condition, virtual students whispered positively to each other; for example, one student would say “Hey, this is a good answer!” and another bystander student would reply “Yes, a good one!”, or the first student would say “I like it!”, and another bystander would respond “I also like it!”. In the negative condition, their whispers had a negative connotation; for example, one bystander student could say “I don’t like the answer!” and another student would replied “Me neither!”, or a student would say “Boring!” and another student would reply “Yes, so boring!”. So, all whispers focused on the content of the answers, and did not focus on the English formulation of the answer. A total of 36 pairs of positive or negative whisper dialogs were recorded for each of the eight virtual students, so participants could see whispering students on the left (Fig 3C) or right (Fig 3E) of them or in front of them (Fig 3D). The whispers were designed to occur every 6–10 seconds after the virtual students or the participant started answering questions from the teacher. The questions towards the participants were triggered using speech detection. Three consecutive seconds of silence after the participant’s answer triggered the teacher to give a neutral response such as ‘ok’ or ‘all right’, after which he would use a transition phrase such as ‘next’ or ‘the next question’ to introduce the next question. The speech detection was also designed to handle the situation that a participant would not say anything after the teacher posed a question. After 3 seconds of silence, the teacher would repeat the question and ask the participant to answer it again. In addition, to prevent a participant to give a very short answer to some of the questions, such as ‘I don’t know’, the teacher would ask ‘why’ if the participant’s answer was shorter than 5 seconds. An example of the interaction in the virtual classroom can be seen in S1 Video.


Virtual bystanders in a language lesson: examining the effect of social evaluation, vicarious experience, cognitive consistency and praising on students' beliefs, self-efficacy and anxiety in a virtual reality environment.

Qu C, Ling Y, Heynderickx I, Brinkman WP - PLoS ONE (2015)

Facial expressions used in the experiment and virtual students (bystanders) whispering to each other (screenshots).(a) a virtual student showing an angry facial expression, (b) a virtual student showing a happy facial expression, (c) students whispering at the participant’s left side, (d) students whispering in front of the participant, and (e) students whispering at the participant’s right side.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4401547&req=5

pone.0125279.g003: Facial expressions used in the experiment and virtual students (bystanders) whispering to each other (screenshots).(a) a virtual student showing an angry facial expression, (b) a virtual student showing a happy facial expression, (c) students whispering at the participant’s left side, (d) students whispering in front of the participant, and (e) students whispering at the participant’s right side.
Mentions: Only the virtual bystander students were able to show positive or negative behavior in the different experimental conditions. This behavior mainly consisted of facial expressions and whispering to each other, as illustrated in Fig 3. Two facial expressions were used in this experiment: angry (see Fig 3A) and happy (see Fig 3B) to express negative or positive behavior respectively. The facial expression was achieved by a repeatable facial expression animation method, explained and evaluated in a previous study by Broekens, Qu [62]. Different attitudes of the students were also expressed in their whispers. In the positive condition, virtual students whispered positively to each other; for example, one student would say “Hey, this is a good answer!” and another bystander student would reply “Yes, a good one!”, or the first student would say “I like it!”, and another bystander would respond “I also like it!”. In the negative condition, their whispers had a negative connotation; for example, one bystander student could say “I don’t like the answer!” and another student would replied “Me neither!”, or a student would say “Boring!” and another student would reply “Yes, so boring!”. So, all whispers focused on the content of the answers, and did not focus on the English formulation of the answer. A total of 36 pairs of positive or negative whisper dialogs were recorded for each of the eight virtual students, so participants could see whispering students on the left (Fig 3C) or right (Fig 3E) of them or in front of them (Fig 3D). The whispers were designed to occur every 6–10 seconds after the virtual students or the participant started answering questions from the teacher. The questions towards the participants were triggered using speech detection. Three consecutive seconds of silence after the participant’s answer triggered the teacher to give a neutral response such as ‘ok’ or ‘all right’, after which he would use a transition phrase such as ‘next’ or ‘the next question’ to introduce the next question. The speech detection was also designed to handle the situation that a participant would not say anything after the teacher posed a question. After 3 seconds of silence, the teacher would repeat the question and ask the participant to answer it again. In addition, to prevent a participant to give a very short answer to some of the questions, such as ‘I don’t know’, the teacher would ask ‘why’ if the participant’s answer was shorter than 5 seconds. An example of the interaction in the virtual classroom can be seen in S1 Video.

Bottom Line: The results show that the expressed attitude of virtual bystanders towards the participants affected their self-efficacy, and their avoidance behavior.Still, inconsistency, instead of consistency, between the bystanders' attitudes towards virtual peers and the participants was not found to result in a larger change in the participants' beliefs.Finally the results also reveal that virtual flattering or destructive criticizing affected the participants' beliefs not only about the virtual bystanders, but also about the neutral teacher.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Interactive Intelligence Group, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Bystanders in a real world's social setting have the ability to influence people's beliefs and behavior. This study examines whether this effect can be recreated in a virtual environment, by exposing people to virtual bystanders in a classroom setting. Participants (n = 26) first witnessed virtual students answering questions from an English teacher, after which they were also asked to answer questions from the teacher as part of a simulated training for spoken English. During the experiment the attitudes of the other virtual students in the classroom was manipulated; they could whisper either positive or negative remarks to each other when a virtual student was talking or when a participant was talking. The results show that the expressed attitude of virtual bystanders towards the participants affected their self-efficacy, and their avoidance behavior. Furthermore, the experience of witnessing bystanders commenting negatively on the performance of other students raised the participants' heart rate when it was their turn to speak. Two-way interaction effects were also found on self-reported anxiety and self-efficacy. After witnessing bystanders' positive attitude towards peer students, participants' self-efficacy when answering questions received a boost when bystanders were also positive towards them, and a blow when bystanders reversed their attitude by being negative towards them. Still, inconsistency, instead of consistency, between the bystanders' attitudes towards virtual peers and the participants was not found to result in a larger change in the participants' beliefs. Finally the results also reveal that virtual flattering or destructive criticizing affected the participants' beliefs not only about the virtual bystanders, but also about the neutral teacher. Together these findings show that virtual bystanders in a classroom can affect people's beliefs, anxiety and behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus