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The Affective Tigger is a project to construct an emotionally reactive and emotionally expressive toygif. An emotionally reactive toy is one that recognizes emotionally laden cues from the playmate, or responds to the playmate with an expression of an emotion. The Affective Tigger does both. Hopefully, as the child plays with the Affective Tigger, she learns to recognize his expressions, and begins to notice a causal relationship between her behavior and his responses. Eventually, she might recognize his expressions as either a positive or negative reaction to her behavior. The larger goal is for her to generalize that her actions have social consequences. At the same time, we are observing the form that the child-computer interaction takes on, and we are beginning to extrapolate what kinds of modifications to make to the computer-toy. We are interested in how to `child-proof' computer interfaces while maintaining the sense of `child orientedness' inherent in a toy.

There are three phases that comprise the Affective Tigger project: expression, detection, and recognition. Expression refers to the capability of the Affective Tigger to communicate his emotional state to the child. The Affective Tigger uses facial movements, voice, and responsiveness to demonstrate his current state. Detection refers to the Affective Tigger's sensory capabilities. As the child plays with the Affective Tigger, she naturally holds and moves him in a manner that is emotionally expressive. The Affective Tigger is designed to sense specific cues which correspond to the child's expression of emotion. Finally, the recognition phase consists of trials with children to evaluate the Affective Tigger according to the appropriateness of his reactions to the child. This phase concluded with both an evaluation of the Affective Tigger's behavioral system, and an assessment of the child's level of emotional development.gif

Dana L Kirsch
Tue May 25 08:59:22 EDT 1999