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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Lessons learned using Theory of Mind methods to investigate user social awareness in virtual role-play

Hall, Lynne, Woods, Sarah and Hall, Marc (2009) Lessons learned using Theory of Mind methods to investigate user social awareness in virtual role-play. Human Technology; Special issue on The End of Cognition, 5 (1). pp. 68-89. ISSN 1795-6889

Item Type: Article


Theory of mind (ToM) methods were used to investigate children’s interpretations of the social and emotional states of synthetic pedagogical characters, focusing on children’s cognitive and affective empathic responses to characters in bullying scenarios and their social awareness and understanding of the characters’ situations. Although cognitive approaches typically do not consider user social awareness and emotional understanding and their roles in interaction, this is critical for our research on empathic engagement. We present a novel approach focusing on story and character comprehension using concepts from ToM methods to understand children’s interpretations of characters within virtual role play scenarios and compare these with an adult perspective. Our results identify that ToM methods offer considerable potential for determining user social awareness and emotional understanding, particularly highlighting that adults and children have different perspectives on how victims and bullies feel.


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Depositing User: Lynne Hall


Item ID: 1228
ISSN: 1795-6889
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Lynne Hall: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2011 15:16
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 13:29


Author: Lynne Hall ORCID iD
Author: Sarah Woods
Author: Marc Hall

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology
Faculty of Technology > FOT Executive


Education > Educational Research
Computing > Games Design

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