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Personification: Metaphor and Fictional Character in CMC. Johan F. Hoorn. tion Association. International Commun. Vrije Universiteit Faculty of Sciences, Department of Computer Science Section Information Management & Software Engineering

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International commun

Personification:

Metaphor and Fictional Character

in CMC

Johan F. Hoorn

tion Association

International Commun

Vrije Universiteit

Faculty of Sciences, Department of Computer Science

Section Information Management & Software Engineering

Subsection Human Computer Interaction, Multimedia & Culture

[email protected]

May 25, 2003

San Diego, CA

www.cs.vu.nl/~jfhoorn


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Theory

Personification,

what is it?


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Personification

Fictional character

(Time, Cupid)

used as a metaphor

(Time is a man, Love is a boy)

for an abstraction

(Time, Love)

Pierre Mignard (1694). Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings.


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Personification

Fictional character

(Robby)

used as a metaphor

(Human is machine)

for an abstraction

(Help, Search, Navigate)

Software agents can be

personifications

Bill Gates (1997). Robby the Robot.


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No Personification

Fictional character

(Builder)

used literally

(Builder is a tutor)

for an abstraction

(Help, Instruct, Create)

For this agent,

the metaphoric aspect

is missing

RealTimeAide (2003). Building tutor.

http://www.realtimeaide.com/tutor/tutor.htm


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Research question

What’s the use

of personification

in CMC?


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Should we apply personifications?

User effortMotivation

Literal icon/dialog

Metaphoric icon/dialog

Mediated person/

Fictional character (FC)

Personification

(FC plus metaphor)

Ease of

understanding

Fun

Task relevance

User support

“Look and feel”

Etc.


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Personification is

more effort for more motivation?

Should we apply personifications?

User effortMotivation

Literal icon/dialog+(easy)- (no fun)

Metaphoric icon/dialog- (difficult)+ (surprising)

Mediated person/- (build a++ (involve-

Fictional character (FC) relationship) ment)

Personification- -+++

(FC plus metaphor)


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Theory

Agents, what do

they communicate?


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Agent-Mediated Communication

Sender

Message

Receiver

System’s

stakeholder

(e.g., client,

designer,

manager)

End-user

Fictional character

+ metaphor

Goals:

- be instructed

- be persuaded

- be entertained

Goals:

- instruct

- persuade

- entertain

Match?


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Agent-Mediated Communication

Sender

Message

Receiver’s perspective

System’s

stakeholder

(e.g., client,

designer,

manager)

End-user

Fictional character

Human

processing

Support

user

goals?

PEFiC

+ metaphor

Goals:

- instruct

- persuade

- entertain

yes

no

Use

agent

Don’t

use

agent

Metaphor process


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Agent-Mediated Communication

Sender’s perspective

Message

Receiver

System’s

stakeholder

(e.g., client,

designer,

manager)

End-user

Alter agent

no

Support

other goal?

Goals:

- be instructed

- be persuaded

- be entertained

Goals:

- instruct

- persuade

- entertain

yes

no

Match?

yes

Maintain agent

http://www.csc.ncsu.edu/eos/users/l/lester/www/images/IPA/cosmo_ok.gif


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Agent-Mediated Communication

Sender

Message

Receiver’s perspective

End-user

Perceiving and Experiencing

Fictional Characters

Human

processing

PEFiC

For empirical evidence, see and hear:


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Results of other studies

Characters,

how are they processed?


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ENCODE

COMPARE

RESPOND

Involvement

%

Ethics

dissimilar

good

irrelevant

beautiful

negative valence

realistic

Features of situation

and Fictional Character

Aesthetics

Appreciation

similar

bad

relevant

ugly

positive valence

Epistemics

unrealistic

Norm

Distance

%

Identification,

empathy, sympathy,

warm feelings,

approach, etc.

Appraisal domains

Fuzzy

feature sets

Mediators

Subjective norm vs.

group norm

Detachment,

antipathy, cold

feelings, avoidance,

etc.

PEFiC model


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Distance

Example of PEFiC in action for factor Relevance to user goals

Involvement

Peedy

Relevant features

if goal is ‘entertainment’

Task-irrelevant features

(goal ‘instruction’)

http://www.scpcug.com/wmwand12.html


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From character to metaphor

What is the role

of epistemics?


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Agent-Mediated Communication

Message

Receiver’s perspective

End-user

Race model of

Metaphor Processing

Human

processing

Part of Epistemics

RMP

For empirical evidence, see:


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Metaphor is part of Epistemics

‘tutor is a human’

‘human is a machine’

suit

‘conversation partner

is a human’

‘product presenter

is a dog’’

constrained

feet

drooling

drooling

(too enthusiastic)

(saliva)

descriptive

figurative

descriptive

figurative

descriptive

figurative

descriptive

figurative

literal

metaphor

literal

metaphor

unrealistic

realistic

COMMUNICATION FORM

EPISTEMICS

ASSOCIATION

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~kobsa/courses/ICS104/course-notes/metaphors.ht; http://www.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de/ags/wbski/lehre/digiSA/Methoden_der_KI/WS0102/methki15.pdf


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Results of other studies

Metaphors,

how are they processed?


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Calculate

descriptive

intersection

Activate

descriptive and

figurative

features

Activate

descriptive and

figurative

features

human

machine

Category

match?

no

yes

Calculate

descriptive/figurative

intersection

EEG: N400 at

frontal cortex

feet constrained

Race

model of

Metaphor

Processing

Sufficient descriptive AND

descriptive/figurative

intersection?

no

‘Anomaly’

Cosmo

Sufficient

descriptive/figurative

intersection?

no

yes

‘Literal’

‘Metaphor’


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Discussion

How come metaphors

are harder to get but

do not take more time?

Errors are the answer


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Calculate

descriptive

intersection

Problem:

Response times for literal and metaphor are about equal.

No way telling whether these two information sources

are serial or parallel

Calculate

descriptive/figurative

intersection

(1)

(2)

If serial (1 before 2), applying metaphor is more time consuming

and probably, more difficult to understand

If parallel, metaphor can be applied without losing time-efficiency

and trouble of understanding

Sufficient

descriptive/figurative

intersection?

no

yes

‘Literal’

‘Metaphor’


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Calculate

descriptive

intersection

Solution:

Investigate Lateralized Readiness Potential (LRP) in response to

partial error pattern (after Coles et al., 1995)

Thus, speed is

not the difficulty

in metaphor

but

accuracy is

Calculate

descriptive/figurative

intersection

(1)

(2)

Many errors for ‘Literal’ 

invisible in behavioral measures

(e.g., RT) because they are

corrected before response execution

 visible in EEG

Few errors

for ‘Metaphor’

‘Literal’

‘Metaphor’

For full argumentation, see:


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Predictions for contralateral effects of finger movement

during metaphor processing

(fictitious data)

Partial error ‘Literal’

Correct ‘Metaphor’

LRP high

LRP low

motor cortex

stimulus

onset

stimulus

onset

stimulus

response

buttons

‘Metaphor’

‘Literal’


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Shall we apply personifications, then?

high

User effortMotivation

Literal icon/dialog+(easy)- (no fun)

Metaphoric icon/dialog- (difficult)+ (surprising)

Mediated person/- (do I like the++ (personal

Fictional character (FC) character?) -ized)

Personification- -+++

(FC plus metaphor)

high

N400 (surprise)

Two information sources:

- descriptive

- descriptive/figurative

Time efficiency

Category mismatch

Error prone (LRP)

PEFiC

RMP

Appreciation (Fun)

Task relevance

Valence (User support)

Aesthetics (“Look and feel”)

Ethics (Good bot vs. bad bot)

Epistemics (Graphic rendering)

Similarity (cf. Avatars)

Involvement-distance

Personification is

more effort for more motivation


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Future work

We developed a software package for testing existing and newly created agents:

Stimulus and trial production, RTs, and in the future, questionnaires and EEG extensions.

Downloads: http://www.antbed.tk/


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What is it?

What can you

do with it?


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Action

preview

Create environments in PowerPoint

and let the agent do its actions


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Personification:

Metaphor and Fictional Character

in CMC

THE END

Wanna know more? Visit www.cs.vu.nl/~jfhoorn


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