How Practicing With Virtual Humans Changes Health Behaviors
Authors of the paper, “Harnessing the Power of Conversations With Virtual Humans to Change Health Behaviors,” published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, mHealth site, describe how the behavior-change model drives these types of simulations by drawing upon components of game mechanics and virtual human simulation technology.
The simulations also integrate evidence-based instructional-design components and principles of social-cognitive theory and neuroscience, such as:
- motivational interviewing
- emotional regulation
In the ATI simulations, students enter a risk-free practice environment and engage in conversations with intelligent, fully animated, and emotionally responsive virtual characters that model human behavior.
During these practice conversations — and feedback from a virtual coach — students learn to better lead conversations in real life.
Numerous longitudinal studies have shown that users who complete these simulations demonstrate statistically significant and sustained increases in attitudinal variables that predict behavior change including preparedness, likelihood, and self-efficacy to better manage conversations.
These simulations have demonstrated a capability to address major health concerns, as well as public health concerns, where effective conversations are necessary to bring about changes in attitudes and behaviors.
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