Do variations in agency indirectly affect behavior with others? an analysis of gaze behavior


In a group setting, it is possible for attributes of one group member to indirectly affect how other group members are perceived. In this paper, we explore whether one group member’s agency (e.g. if they are real or virtual) can indirectly affect behavior with other group members. We also consider whether variations in the agency of a group member directly affects behavior with that group member. To do so, we examined gaze behavior during a team training exercise, in which sixty-nine nurses worked with a surgeon and an anesthesiologist to prepare a simulated patient for surgery. The agency of the surgeon and the anesthesiologist were varied between conditions. Nurses' gaze behavior was coded using videos of their interactions. Agency was observed to directly affect behavior, such that participants spent more time gazing at virtual teammates than human teammates. However, participants continued to obey polite gaze norms with virtual teammates. In contrast, agency was not observed to indirectly affect gaze behavior. The presence of a second human did not affect participants' gaze behavior with virtual teammates.

IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics