Cross-Cultural Differences in Recognizing Affect from Body Posture

A Kleinsmith, Silva R De, N Bianchi-Berthouze
in Interacting with Computers, Journal article


Conveyance and recognition of human emotion and affective expression is influenced by many factors, including culture. Within the user modeling yeld, it has become
increasingly necessary to understand the role affect can play in personalizing inter-active interfaces using embodied animated agents. However, little research within
the computer science field aims at understanding cultural differences within this vein. Therefore, we conducted a study to evaluate if differences exist in the way var-
ious cultures perceive emotion from body posture. We used static posture images of affectively expressive avatars to conduct recognition experiments with subjects from
three cultures. After analyzing the subjects' judgments using multivariate analysis, we grounded the identified di®erences into a set of low-level posture features. We
then used Mixture Discriminant Analysis (MDA) and an unsupervised Expectation Maximization (EM) model to build separate cultural models for affective posture
recognition. Our results could prove useful to aide designers in creating more effec-
tive affective avatars.