The Impact of Effective Expression and Gender of a Learning Companion

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Annual Conference of American Educational Research Association (AERA)

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This study examined the effects of emotional expression (positive vs. negative vs. neutral) and gender (male vs. female) of pedagogical agents as learning companions (PALs) on learning, interest, self- efficacy, and agent persona. Participants included 142 undergraduates. The results indicated that both positive and neutral PALs positively influenced interest and perceptions of PALs persona (p < .05). A male PAL positively influenced students recall (p < .01). There was an interaction effect between affective expression and gender on agent persona (p < .05): When the PAL expressed positive affect, the persona of a male PAL was perceived more favorably than that of a female PAL; however, this interaction was minimal when the PALs expressed negative or neutral affect.

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