Simulated humans in computer interfaces are increasingly taking on roles that were once reserved for real humans. The presentation of simulated humans is affected by their appearance, motion quality, and interactivity. These presentational factors can influence the decisions of those who interact with them. This is of concern to interface designers and users alike, because these decisions often have moral and ethical consequences. However, the impact of presentational factors on decisions in ethical dilemmas has not been explored. This study is intended as a first effort toward filling this gap. In a between-groups experiment, a female character presented participants with an ethical dilemma. The character's human photorealism and motion quality were varied to generate four stimulus conditions: real human versus computer-generated character × fluid versus jerky movement. The results indicate that the stimulus condition had no significant effect on female participants, while male participants were significantly more likely to rule against the character when her visual appearance was computer generated and her movements were jerky.

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