Armyanskii ln., 4-2,
Moscow, 101000, Russia


Anastasia Petrova1, Elizaveta Luniakova1, Maria Falikman2,3
  • 1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 3 Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (The Presidential Academy, RANEPA), 82 build. 1, Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation

Gaze Cueing in Virtual Reality: Effects of Social Set and Social Distance

2021. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 211–223 [issue contents]
Spatial attention of people involved in a co-operative activity is often directed to the same objects in the environment. At the same time, one of the partners’ gaze redirection can be involved in controlling attention of others. It could be assumed that the degree of the gaze cueing effect, which has become a focus of growing research interest in recent decades, might be influenced by such social psychological factors as one’s attitude towards the partner and social distance between the partners. To test these assumptions, a virtual 3D environment was created, in which a modified version of the cueing paradigm by Posner et al. (1978) was implemented. An intergroup experimental design was used. For one group of participants, the anthropomorphic avatar was introduced in the instruction as a “virtual assistant”, for the other group, it was presented as a “virtual assessment specialist”. The avatar could provide valid and invalid gaze cues regarding the future target location. Both groups participated in two experimental sessions, in one session the distance between the participant and the avatar was 1.5 m (comfortable distance corresponding to the zone of formal social contacts) and in the other session the distance was 1 m (uncomfortable distance corresponding to the zone of personal contacts). The gaze cueing effect was observed through all experimental conditions in a virtual environment. However, it was more pronounced for the “assisting” set than for the “assessing” one. Interestingly, for the assisting set, the effect was asymmetric: the gain due to a valid cue turned out to be less pronounced than the delay in the response to a target after an invalid cue. For both conditions, the gaze cueing effect was more pronounced at a distance of 1 m between the participant and the avatar than at a distance of 1.5 m. The latter result could be associated either with the large angular dimensions of a gaze cue or with blurring of boundaries of the personal zone in the virtual environment. The results can be applied in the development of educational virtual environments.

Citation: Petrova A., Luniakova E., Falikman M. (2021) Effekt vzglyada-podskazki v virtual'noy srede: vliyanie sotsial'noy ustanovki i sotsial'noy distantsii [Gaze Cueing in Virtual Reality: Effects of Social Set and Social Distance]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 19, no 1, pp. 211-223 (in Russian)
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