Persuasion in social touch interactions
The proposed research will provide insights into the extent to which “Social Touch Technology” can affect people’s trust and decisions. More specifically, the research focuses on Virtual Reality (VR) interactions, during which a virtual agent applies social touches to the arm of the user in order to convince him/her during a discussion. Social touch is of great importance in face-to-face communication, but it is often overlooked in mediated communication or in human-computer interactions. VR is becoming increasingly important for a large variety of training and coaching applications (e.g., in military, education, or healthcare), and for social communication. The use of STT can extend the communication capabilities of virtual agents in VR which in turn could make training by the virtual agent more effective.