How we trust, perceive, and learn from virtual humans: The influence of voice quality

Erin K. Chiou, Noah L. Schroeder, Scotty D. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Research has shown that creating environments in which social cues are present (social agency) benefits learning. One way to create these environments is to incorporate a virtual human as a pedagogical agent in computer-based learning environments. However, essential questions remain about virtual human design, such as what voice should the virtual human use to communicate. Furthermore, to date research in the education literature around virtual humans has largely ignored one potentially salient construct – trust. This study examines how the quality of a virtual human's voice influences learning, perceptions, and trust in the virtual human. Results of on an online study show that the voice quality did not significantly influence learning, but it did influence trust and learners' other perceptions of the virtual human. This study, consistent with recent work around the voice effect, questions the efficacy of the voice effect and highlights areas of research around trust to further extend social agency theory in virtual human based learning environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103756
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Human computer interaction
  • Pedagogical agent
  • Trust
  • Virtual human
  • Voice effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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