Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animation Aids Psychology In 'Second Life' Experiment

Date:
March 21, 2008
Source:
Bournemouth University
Summary:
A new project will test how people respond to extreme social situations - particularly the 'bystander effect' - using an immersive virtual environment like Second Life where real people interact with each other socially through lifelike animated characters. The bystander effect suggests that the more witnesses there are to an emergency, the less likely an individual bystander is to intervene. This phenomenon was identified as a particular consequence of the assault and murder of Kitty Genovese in New York in 1964 which was witnessed by some 38 people, all of whom remained bystanders and failed to come to Kitty's aid.

Lifelike animation of human characteristics by the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University.
Credit: Image courtesy of Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University’s computer animation experts have been awarded a major grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support a three-year project linking animation to psychology.

Related Articles


The 290,000 award will support Professor Jian Zhang and his colleagues in the BU-based National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) over the next three years as they develop improvements to lifelike animated humans.

The new and improved ‘virtual’ humans developed by the NCCA will be used by project partners at UCL (University College London) and the University of Lancaster in a series of psychology experiments, observed by the Metropolitan Police.

The project will test how people respond to extreme social situations - particularly the ‘bystander effect’ - using an immersive virtual environment like Second Life where real people interact with each other socially through lifelike animated characters.

The bystander effect suggests that the more witnesses there are to an emergency, the less likely an individual bystander is to intervene. This phenomenon was identified as a particular consequence of the assault and murder of Kitty Genovese in New York in 1964 which was witnessed by some 38 people, all of whom remained bystanders and failed to come to Kitty’s aid.

Scientists have previously been unable to study the bystander effect, even under controlled conditions, due to ethical and practical reasons. However, the advanced animated humans and environments created by the NCCA will give scientists a unique opportunity to test the bystander effect in the context of a ‘controlled’ immersive virtual environment.

“We want to dramatically improve the quality of these social virtual environments,” said Professor Zhang, Director of BU’s Computer Animation Research Centre. “We also want to contribute to the growing body of research that uses virtual environments as a laboratory for social psychological research.

“Other studies have already shown that real people tend to respond realistically in virtual social situations,” Professor Zhang continued. “As our real participants take part in the study within the virtual environments we’ll be creating, we will measure their physiological, behavioural, cognitive and emotional responses to that environment. These responses will help us to learn even more about the bystander effect and should provide further insight into many other psychological phenomenon.”

Professor Zhang also hopes that the techniques developed through the project may have applications in 3D computer games.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Bournemouth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Bournemouth University. "Animation Aids Psychology In 'Second Life' Experiment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318215512.htm>.
Bournemouth University. (2008, March 21). Animation Aids Psychology In 'Second Life' Experiment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318215512.htm
Bournemouth University. "Animation Aids Psychology In 'Second Life' Experiment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318215512.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Bracelet Changes Design With the Touch of a Button

Smart Bracelet Changes Design With the Touch of a Button

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) Interactive jewellery that allows users to change designs and doesn&apos;t need charging. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter's Periscope New Rival for Meerkat

Twitter's Periscope New Rival for Meerkat

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Twitter has unveiled Periscope, its live-streaming app to rival Meerkat and other emerging apps that have captured the attention of the social media industry. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins