Affective interaction: How emotional agents affect users

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Embodied agents have received large amounts of interest in recent years. They are often equipped with the ability to express emotion, but without understanding the impact this can have on the user. Given the amount of research studies that are utilising agent technology with affective capabilities, now is an important time to review the influence of synthetic agent emotion on user attitudes, perceptions and behaviour. We therefore present a structured overview of the research into emotional simulation in agents, providing a summary of the main studies, re-formulating appropriate results in terms of the emotional effects demonstrated, and an in-depth analysis illustrating the similarities and inconsistencies between different experiments across a variety of different domains. We highlight important lessons, future areas for research, and provide a set of guidelines for conducting further research. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-776
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Issue number9
Early online date13 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009


  • Review, Affect, Emotion, Engagement