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Perception of Strength and Power of Realistic Male Characters


Conference Paper


We investigated the influence of body shape and pose on the perception of physical strength and social power for male virtual characters. In the first experiment, participants judged the physical strength of varying body shapes, derived from a statistical 3D body model. Based on these ratings, we determined three body shapes (weak, average, and strong) and animated them with a set of power poses for the second experiment. Participants rated how strong or powerful they perceived virtual characters of varying body shapes that were displayed in different poses. Our results show that perception of physical strength was mainly driven by the shape of the body. However, the social attribute of power was influenced by an interaction between pose and shape. Specifically, the effect of pose on power ratings was greater for weak body shapes. These results demonstrate that a character with a weak shape can be perceived as more powerful when in a high-power pose.

Author(s): Anna C. Wellerdiek and Martin Breidt and Michael N. Geuss and Stephan Streuber and Uwe Kloos and Michael J. Black and Betty J. Mohler
Book Title: Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception, SAP’15
Pages: 7--14
Year: 2015
Month: September
Publisher: ACM

Department(s): Perceiving Systems
Research Project(s): Body Perception
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (inproceedings)
Paper Type: Conference

DOI: 10.1145/2804408.2804413

Address: New York, NY

Links: PDF


  title = {Perception of Strength and Power of Realistic Male Characters},
  author = {Wellerdiek, Anna C. and Breidt, Martin and Geuss, Michael N. and Streuber, Stephan and Kloos, Uwe and Black, Michael J. and Mohler, Betty J.},
  booktitle = {Proc.~ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception, SAP'15},
  pages = {7--14},
  publisher = {ACM},
  address = {New York, NY},
  month = sep,
  year = {2015},
  month_numeric = {9}