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Design Goals and Philosophy

To the child, the Affective Tigger seems to have his own emotions. As the child plays with him, she learns both how to recognize his emotional expressions and to predict which of her own behaviors give rise to his various emotional expressions.

Since the Affective Tigger does not have real emotions, much of the design effort went into creating the illusion that he does. With the focus on what the child perceived and not on the hidden layers and complex processing of the sensor input, the Affective Tigger has become a believable character apparently endowed with a spectrum of feelings. While the sensory interpretation is an important part of the project, keeping it simple was the main goal in the design and re-design process. This facilitates a connection between child and toy such that she can directly see the consequences of her actions. Once the child has learned the consequences (that is, the Affective Tigger's response) to her behavior, both good and bad, hopefully she can begin to apply that knowledge to other areas of her life.

The Affective Tigger has a passive personality. When left on his own, he remains in a neutral emotional state, and sits quietly on the shelf. However, as the child begins to interact with him, he `comes to life' strengthening the bond between child and toy. This passivity increases the contrast between when the child is and is not playing with him. Thereby making his ability to respond to the child even more apparent.

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