Stacy Marsella, Jonathan Gratch, Ning Wang: “Assessing the validity of a computational model of emotional coping”

September 12, 2009 | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Speaker: Stacy Marsella, Jonathan Gratch, Ning Wang
Host: International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII)

In this paper we describe the results of a rigorous empirical study evaluating the coping responses of a computational model of emotion. We discuss three key kinds of coping, Wishful Thinking, Resignation and Dis-tancing that impact an agent’s beliefs, intentions and desires, and compare these coping responses to related work in the attitude change literature. We discuss the EMA computational model of emotion and identify sev-eral hypotheses it makes concerning these coping processes. We assess these hypotheses against the beha-vior of human subjects playing a competitive board game, using monetary gains and losses to induce emo-tion and coping. Subject’s appraisals, emotional state and coping responses were indexed at key points throughout a game, revealing a pattern of subject’s al-tering their beliefs, desires and intentions as the game unfolds. The results clearly support several of the hypo-theses on coping responses but also identify (a) exten-sions to how EMA models Wishful Thinking as well as (b) individual differences in subject’s coping responses.