A virtual therapist that responds empathically to your answers

M.A. Pontier, G.F. Siddiqui

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


Previous research indicates that self-help therapy is an effective method to prevent and treat unipolar depression. While web-based self-help therapy has many advantages, there are also disadvantages to self-help therapy, such as that it misses the possibility to regard the body language of the user, and the lack of personal feedback on the user responses. This study presents a virtual agent that guides the user through the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaire, which is used to measure the severity of depression. The agent responds empathically to the answers given by the user, by changing its facial expression. This resembles face to face therapy more than existing web-based self-help therapies. A pilot experiment indicates that the virtual agent has added value for this application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Virtual Agents
Subtitle of host publication8th International Conference, IVA 2008, Tokyo, Japan, September 1-3, 2008. Proceedings
EditorsH. Prendinger, J. Lester, M. Ishizuka
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783540854838
ISBN (Print)9783540854821
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS)
NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence book sub series (LNAI)

Bibliographical note

iva 2008


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