Combining the Projective Consciousness Model and Virtual Humans to assess ToM capacity in Virtual Reality: a proof-of-concept

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PubDate: Apr 2021

Teams: University of Geneva

Writers: David Rudrauf, Grégoire Sergeant-Perthuis, Yvain Tisserand, Teerawat Monnor, Olivier Belli

PDF: Combining the Projective Consciousness Model and Virtual Humans to assess ToM capacity in Virtual Reality: a proof-of-concept

Abstract

Relating explicit psychological mechanisms and observable behaviours is a central aim of psychological and behavioural science. We implemented the principles of the Projective Consciousness Model into artificial agents embodied as virtual humans, as a proof-of-concept for a methodological framework aimed at simulating behaviours and assessing underlying psychological parameters, in the context of experiments in virtual reality. We focus on simulating the role of Theory of Mind (ToM) in the choice of strategic behaviours of approach and avoidance to optimise the satisfaction of agents’ preferences. We designed an experiment in a virtual environment that could be used with real humans, allowing us to classify behaviours as a function of order of ToM, up to the second order. We show that our agents demonstrate expected behaviours with consistent parameters of ToM in this experiment. We also show that the agents can be used to estimate correctly each other order of ToM. A similar approach could be used with real humans in virtual reality experiments not only to enable human participants to interact with parametric, virtual humans as stimuli, but also as a mean of inference to derive model-based psychological assessments of the participants.

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