Can a virtual agent provide good emotional support? Exploring whether personality or identity effect the perceived supportiveness of a message

Kirsten A. Smith, Judith Masthoff

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study we explore whether an emotional support message sent to an informal carer by a Virtual Agent provides good quality emotional support, compared to the same message sent by a friend or sister with whom they have either a close, medium, or distant relationship. We also explore whether these judgements are affected by personality. Participants recruited from Mechanical Turk rated an emotional support message for Suitability, provided qualitative feedback about their rating and then completed a personality measure. We found that the support message was rated worst when it came from the Computer, Distant-sister and Close-friend. While these were rated worse, they were not rated poorly, implying that support from a computer is valuable. There were three effects for personality which did not vary with the support giver's Identity: agreeableness and emotional stability had a positive correlation with 3 sub-scales of supportiveness. A thematic analysis of comments revealed that people prefer emotional support from a human; they like empathy; support from close friends means more; they prefer personalised support; and they have higher expectations from family over friends.

Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Event32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018 - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20186 Jul 2018

Conference

Conference32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period4/07/186/07/18

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Keywords

  • Affective computing
  • Carers
  • EHealth
  • Emotional support
  • HCI
  • Personality
  • Virtual agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Smith, K. A., & Masthoff, J. (2018). Can a virtual agent provide good emotional support? Exploring whether personality or identity effect the perceived supportiveness of a message. Paper presented at 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018, Belfast, United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/HCI2018.13

Can a virtual agent provide good emotional support? Exploring whether personality or identity effect the perceived supportiveness of a message. / Smith, Kirsten A.; Masthoff, Judith.

2018. Paper presented at 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018, Belfast, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Smith, KA & Masthoff, J 2018, 'Can a virtual agent provide good emotional support? Exploring whether personality or identity effect the perceived supportiveness of a message' Paper presented at 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018, Belfast, United Kingdom, 4/07/18 - 6/07/18, . https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/HCI2018.13
Smith KA, Masthoff J. Can a virtual agent provide good emotional support? Exploring whether personality or identity effect the perceived supportiveness of a message. 2018. Paper presented at 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018, Belfast, United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/HCI2018.13
Smith, Kirsten A. ; Masthoff, Judith. / Can a virtual agent provide good emotional support? Exploring whether personality or identity effect the perceived supportiveness of a message. Paper presented at 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, HCI 2018, Belfast, United Kingdom.
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