Events

Sin-hwa Kang, Jonathan Gratch: “People Like Virtual Counselors That Highly-Disclose About Themselves”

June 22, 2011 | Gatineau, Quebec

Speaker: Sin-hwa Kang, Jonathan Gratch
Host: The 16th Annual CyberTherapy & CyberPsychology Conference

In this paper, we describe our findings from research designed to explore the effect of self-disclosure between virtual human counselors (interviewers) and human users (interviewees) on users’ social responses in counseling sessions. To investigate this subject, we designed an experiment involving three conditions of self-disclosure: high-disclosure, low-disclosure, and non-disclosure. We measured users’ sense of co-presence and social attraction to virtual counselors. The results demonstrated that users reported more co-presence and social attraction to virtual humans who disclosed highly intimate information about themselves than when compared to other virtual humans who disclosed less intimate or no information about themselves. In addition, a further analysis of users’ verbal self-disclosure showed that users revealed a medium level of personal information more often when interacting with virtual humans that highly-disclosed about themselves, than when interacting with virtual humans disclosing less intimate or no information about themselves.