An Interactive Space as a Creature: Mechanisms of Agency Attribution and Autotelic Experience

Ulysses Bernardet, Jaume Subirats Aleixandri, Paul F.m.j. Verschure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interacting with an animal is a highly immersing and satisfactory experience. How can interaction with an artifact can be imbued with the quality of an interaction with a living being? The authors propose a theoretical relationship that puts the predictability of the human-artifact interaction at the center of the attribution of agency and experience of “flow.” They empirically explored three modes of interaction that differed in the level of predictability of the interactive space's behavior. The results of the authors' study give support to the notion that there is a sweet spot of predictability in the reactions of the space that leads users to perceive the space as a creature. Flow factors discriminated between the different modes of interaction and showed the expected nonlinear relationship with the predictability of the interaction. The authors' results show that predictability is a key factor to induce an attribution of agency, and they hope that their study can contribute to a more systematic approach to designing satisfactory and rich interaction between humans and machines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Virtual and Augmented Reality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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