The complex relationship between empathy, engagement and boredom

Witchel, Harry J, Santos, Carlos P, Ackah, James K, Tee, Julian, Chockalingam, Nachiappan and Westling, Carina E I (2016) The complex relationship between empathy, engagement and boredom. Published in: Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE '16); Nottingham, UK; 6-8 September 2016. a4. Association for Computing Machinery ISBN 9781450342445

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In human computer interactions — especially gaming — the role of empathy has been mooted as a necessary prerequisite for higher levels of engagement and immersion. More recently other forms of engagement, including intellectual/cognitive engagement, have been proposed. In this study we present a carefully controlled dataset of human-computer interactions with a wide range of stimuli that ranged from highly engaging to boring to test these two theories. Analyzing 844 response sets to visual analogue scales (VAS) for empathy, interest, boredom, and engagement, we found that high empathy was sufficient for high engagement but is not necessary, whilst the converse was not true. We also found that empathy and boredom were incompatible with each other, but low levels of either were permissive rather than causal to the other. We conclude that there is no monotonic relationship between increasing empathy and engagement; either empathy is a sufficient (but not necessary) cause of engagement, or engagement is a necessary precursor to high empathy.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Harry Witchel
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 13:29
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 17:19

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