AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction


Organizations have increasingly begun using digital human representations (DHRs), such as avatars and embodied agents, to deliver health behavior change interventions (BCIs) that target modifiable risk factors in the smoking, nutrition, alcohol overconsumption, and physical inactivity (SNAP) domain. We conducted a structured literature review of 60 papers from the computing, health, and psychology literatures to investigate how DHRs’ social design affects whether BCIs succeed. Specifically, we analyzed how differences in social cues that DHRs use affect user psychology and how this can support or hinder different intervention functions. Building on established frameworks from the human-computer interaction and BCI literatures, we structure extant knowledge that can guide efforts to design future DHR-delivered BCIs. We conclude that we need more field studies to better understand the temporal dynamics and the mid-term and long-term effects of DHR social design on user perception and intervention outcomes.





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