Psychology Today Features Study Suggesting People Disclose More to Virtual Humans

Published: July 16, 2014
Category: News

Psychology Today interviewed Gale Lucas of the ICT virtual humans group about recent findings that suggest patients are more willing to disclose personal information to virtual humans than actual ones, in large part because computers lack the proclivity to look down on people the way another human might.
The research, which was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army, is promising for people suffering from post-traumatic stress and other mental anguish, said Lucas, a social psychologist at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, who led the study.
In an online Q&A Lucas discusses the research.
“We provide the first empirical evidence that virtual humans can increase disclosure in a clinical interview context by making participants feel though their responses are not currently being observed,” she said.