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Emotional Reactions to Point-Light Display Animations

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-531
Number of pages11
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Emotional reactions to basic, artificial, yet carefully controllable point-light displays (PLDs) were investigated with ratings of valence, arousal, approachability and dominance. PLDs were varied by movement location (upper and lower) and intensity (10°, 20° and 30° angular change) for angular upward and downward movements. Half of participants (N =28) were told that PLDs were related to face while to other half nothing was hinted. Results showed that 20° and 30° angle lower location upward movements were rated as significantly more pleasant, relaxing and approachable than corresponding upper location downward movements. Informed participants rated 20° and 30° angle lower movements as significantly more controllable than corresponding upper movements. Results are important from many perspectives, like for understanding human perceptual mechanisms. When using PLDs only a small amount of information needs to be transmitted. This enables low bandwidth requirements. As PLD visualizations are simple, there is no need for high-definition displays.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • biological movement, emotions, face perception, information visualization, point-light displays, psychology

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland