Heiko Overath, B. Sc.
Room 105
Phone: +49 241 80 24897
Fax: +49 241 80 22134


Andrea Bönsch, Sina Radke, Heiko Overath, Laura Marie Aschè, Jonathan Wendt, Tom Vierjahn, Ute Habel, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, 2018

Personal space (PS), the flexible protective zone maintained around oneself, is a key element of everyday social interactions. It, e.g., affects people's interpersonal distance and is thus largely involved when navigating through social environments. However, the PS is regulated dynamically, its size depends on numerous social and personal characteristics and its violation evokes different levels of discomfort and physiological arousal. Thus, gaining more insight into this phenomenon is important.

We contribute to the PS investigations by presenting the results of a controlled experiment in a CAVE, focusing on German males in the age of 18 to 30 years. The PS preferences of 27 participants have been sampled while they were approached by either a single embodied, computer-controlled virtual agent (VA) or by a group of three VAs. In order to investigate the influence of a VA's emotions, we altered their facial expression between angry and happy. Our results indicate that the emotion as well as the number of VAs approaching influence the PS: larger distances are chosen to angry VAs compared to happy ones; single VAs are allowed closer compared to the group. Thus, our study is a foundation for social and behavioral studies investigating PS preferences.

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author = {Andrea B\"{o}nsch and Sina Radke and Heiko Overath and Laura M. Asch\'{e} and Jonathan Wendt and Tom Vierjahn and Ute Habel and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
title = {{Social VR: How Personal Space is Affected by Virtual Agents’ Emotions}},
booktitle = {Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2018},
year = {2018}

Andrea Bönsch, Jonathan Wendt, Heiko Overath, Özgür Gürerk, Christine Harbring, Christian Grund, Thomas Kittsteiner, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2017

Traditionally, experimental economics uses controlled and incentivized field and lab experiments to analyze economic behavior. However, investigating peer effects in the classic settings is challenging due to the reflection problem: Who is influencing whom?

To overcome this, we enlarge the methodological toolbox of these experiments by means of Virtual Reality. After introducing and validating a real-effort sorting task, we embed a virtual agent as peer of a human subject, who independently performs an identical sorting task. We conducted two experiments investigating (a) the subject’s productivity adjustment due to peer effects and (b) the incentive effects on competition. Our results indicate a great potential for Virtual-Reality-based economic experiments.

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Title = {Peers At Work: Economic Real-Effort Experiments In The Presence of Virtual Co-Workers},
Author = {Andrea B\"{o}nsch and Jonathan Wendt and Heiko Overath and Özgür Gürerk and Christine Harbring and Christian Grund and Thomas Kittsteiner and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
Booktitle = {IEEE Virtual Reality Conference Poster Proceedings},
Year = {2017},
Pages = {301-302},
DOI = {10.1109/VR.2017.7892296}

Jan Schnathmeier, Heiko Overath, Sina Radke, Andrea Bönsch, Ute Habel, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
Virtuelle und Erweiterte Realität, 14. Workshop der GI-Fachgruppe VR/AR (2017)

The bachelor thesis’ aim was to develop a framework allowing to design and conduct virtual-reality-based user studies gaining insight into the concept of personal space.

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Title = {Do Not Invade: A Virtual-Reality-Framework to Study Personal Space},
Author = {Jan Schnathmeier and Heiko Overath and Sina Radke and Andrea B\"{o}nsch and Ute Habel and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
Journal = {{V}irtuelle und {E}rweiterte {R}ealit\"at, 14. {W}orkshop der {GI}-{F}achgruppe {VR}/{AR}},
Year = {2017},
Pages = {203-204},
ISBN = {978-3-8440-5606-8}
Publisher = {Shaker Verlag}

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