Computer animated movement and person perception: Methodological advances in nonverbal behavior research.
Impression effects of videotaped dyadic interactions were compared with 3D-computer animations based on movement transcripts of the same interactions to determine whether similar effects could be obtained. One-minute sequences of movement behavior taken from 3 different dyadic interactions were transcribed using the Bernese Coding System (BCS). Descriptive data were converted into animation scripts for professional animation software. Either original video documents or computer animations were shown to 2 separate groups of observers (53 and 51 university students, respectively, from different disciplines aged 19 to 57 years). Their socioemotional impressions were assessed on a standard adjective checklist. Only marginal differences were found between the 2 presentation modes. On the contrary, the data point to remarkable similarities in the impression ratings in both conditions, indicating that most of the relevant social information available to observers in the video recordings was also conveyed by computer animations. Overall, the data suggest that the systematic use of computer animation techniques in nonverbal research deserves further scientific attention.
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