New Scientist Features ICT Advances Using Virtual Humans for Mental Health

September 4, 2015

New Scientist highlighted research by Jonathan Gratch and Gale Lucas of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies finding that people are more likely to engage with a virtual versus a human therapist. The study found that people are more comfortable admitting psychological problems to an avatar than a human being, though that doesn’t replace the need for human therapists.

“When you’re faced with a human, all these social processes activate. You’re more likely to cooperate with a person, more likely to apply racial stereotypes, more likely to feel judged,” said Gratch.