Humor and Fear Appeals in Animated Pedagogical Agents: An Evaluation in Aviation Safety Education
Authors: Buttussi F., Chittaro L.
Published in: IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, Vol. 13, no. 1, March 2020, pp. 63 - 76.
Abstract: Humor and fear appeals are widely employed in traditional communication for educational purposes, but their exploitation in animated pedagogical agents has been scarcely explored. We studied the use of humor and fear appeals by a three-dimensional animated pedagogical agent that taught the same procedural knowledge in four conditions: i) humor appeal, ii) fear appeal, iii) humor and fear appeal together, or iv) no emotion appeals. The agent delivered and illustrated the knowledge in an application for aviation safety education. The results of our study show that using the educational application had overall positive learning effects, regardless of the appeals used by the agent. Resort to humor and fear appeals by the agent affected instead participants’ mood, liking of the application, and perception of the agent. The paper includes a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using humor and fear appeals in animated pedagogical agents.