The role of a social robot in behavior change coaching

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    This experimental study evaluates the effects of coaching people into behavior change with a simulation of the social robot Haru. In order to support participants in their attempts to change their behavior and to create a new habit, a coaching session was created based on the 'Tiny Habits' method developed by BJ Fogg [1]. This coaching session was presented to altogether 41 participants in three conditions. In Condition 1, the dialogue between the participant and the simulated robot was interspersed with emotional expressions and behaviors such as dancing, bowing and vocalizing. Condition 2 used the same set-up with the robot simulator and provided participants with the same guidance, using the same synthesized voice from Condition 1, but without any emotional elements. The third condition was created to evaluate the effect of using a robot as a session coach by comparing the two conditions with Haru to a condition in which the same content was presented, just without a robot. The same script as in the two robot conditions was presented as a text on a website, divided into sections reflecting the human-robot dialogue in the two robot conditions. Data from a post-session questionnaire were supplemented by another questionnaire which was administered 10 days later and focuses on habit retention. Participants from the session with the robot that uses emotional behaviors felt significantly more confident that they will incorporate their behavior change in their lives and thought differently about behavior change. People participating in the session with a robot simulation also had a significantly higher retention rate of their behavior change, thus revealing a positive effect of the social robot.

    TitelHRI 2021 - Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
    ForlagAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Publikationsdato8. mar. 2021
    ISBN (Elektronisk)9781450382908
    StatusUdgivet - 8. mar. 2021
    Begivenhed2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2021 - Virtual, Online, USA
    Varighed: 8. mar. 202111. mar. 2021


    Konference2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2021
    ByVirtual, Online
    SponsorACM SIGAI, ACM SIGCHI, IEEE, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

    Bibliografisk note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the SMOOTH project (6158-00009B) of the Innovation Fund Denmark.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 ACM.


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