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An embodied conversational agent in a mobile health coaching application

Hendrix, J.K. (2013) An embodied conversational agent in a mobile health coaching application.

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Abstract:Sedentary lifestyles are increasingly common in modern day society. This is becoming a serious problem, as a lack of physical activity can not only lead to overweight and obesity, but also increases the risk of many other health problems. In order to increase their physical activity levels, most people can bene�t from some form of guidance or coaching. Many digital systems designed to provide such coaching are currently being developed, including systems for mobile hardware platforms. In an attempt to increase the e�ectiveness of such mobile health coaching systems, we have integrated an Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) into one such system. A user experiment was performed where participants used the system for two weeks, with the system employing plain text messages to deliver feedback during one of the weeks, and delivering feedback through the ECA during the other. Participants completed several surveys and an interview, and activity data was recorded and stored by the system. This data was then analyzed to try and �nd di�erences between the two feedback delivery methods. Analysis of the collected data did not reveal a signi�cant advantage of the ECA feedback version over the text feedback version. In fact, the text version received signi�cantly higher scores on several items. Participants' responses during the interviews indicated that the lack of glanceability of the ECA feedback, combined with the predictability of the feedback message contents, had a strong negative in uence on the evaluations of the ECA feedback version.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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