Investigating the effects of virtual patients’ nonsensical responses on users’ facial expressions in mental health training scenarios

Alexandre Gomes de Siqueira, Heng Yao, Anokhi Bafna, Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, Jenelle A. Richards, Lauren B. Lloveras, Kathleen Feeney, Stephanie Morris, Erica D. Musser, Benjamin Lok, Igor Galynker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report investigates how clinician-participants react to virtual patients’ sensical vs. nonsensical responses in a training simulation that aims to help clinicians acquire empathetic skills toward high-risk patients with symptoms of the Suicide Crisis Syndrome (SCS). Two suicidal virtual patients were developed, and clinician-participants interactions with them were recorded. Their facial emotions were analysed in three key moments: after a baseline sensical response, after a nonsensical response, and after the following sensical response. We compared their basic facial emotions aggregated into Negative and Positive facial affective behaviors (FABs). We describe our study involving ten clinician-participants and the results of the facial expression analysis with Noldus FaceReader. Our results suggest that nonsensical responses from virtual humans have an overall impact in both Positive and Negative facial affective emotions, and may lead to an increased percent of time participants demonstrate Negative facial affective behaviors when interacting with virtual humans. We discuss several aspects regarding the impacts and importance of considering nonsensical responses in the context of virtual human-based interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - VRST 2021
Subtitle of host publication27th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450390927
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Dec 2021
Event27th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: 8 Dec 202110 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST

Conference

Conference27th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST 2021
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityVirtual, Online
Period8/12/2110/12/21

Keywords

  • Empathy skills
  • Nonsensical responses
  • Sensical responses
  • Suicide crises syndrome
  • Virtual human
  • Virtual patient

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