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Conversations with Freudbot in Second Life: Mining the Virtuality of Relationship

, Athabasca University, Canada

Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 28, Number 4, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


The unstructured conversations of students who chatted with Freudbot in his Second Life virtual office over a 32 month period were examined in order to better understand the nature of the virtual relationship between students and conversational agents as historical figures. This research builds on past work that examined these conservations in relation previously collected non-virtual conditions in order to isolate the possible effects of virtual world immersion on the conversational record (Heller, Procter, & Rose, 2016; Heller & Procter, 2014). Forty-nine of the longest conversations were selected and analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software (Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007) in order to measure indices of social presence, a construct hypothesized to underlie relationships conducive to learning. Compared to previously reported sample of shorter conversations from the same population, the long conversations in the present study were associated significantly more positive emotions and personal pronouns. The discussion focuses on mechanisms of rapport building for CA as avatars in virtual worlds.


Heller, B. (2017). Conversations with Freudbot in Second Life: Mining the Virtuality of Relationship. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 28(4), 359-370. Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 17, 2019 from .

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