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Can a robot improve college students’ psychological well-being?


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Despite the increase in awareness and support for mental health, college students' mental health is reported to decline yearly in many countries. Several interactive technologies for mental health have been proposed and are aiming to make therapeutic services more accessible, but most of them only provide one-way passive content for their users, such as psycho-education, health monitoring, and clinical assessment.

Dr Laura Aymerich-Franch has worked in MIT Media Lab during a stay in a robotic coach that delivers not only interactive positive psychology interventions but also provides other useful skills to build rapport with college students. Results showed that the robotic intervention was significantly associated with increases in students’ psychological well-being, mood, and motivation to change.

This study gives insight into how learning users’ traits and recognizing behavioural cues can help an AI agent provide personalized intervention experiences for better mental health outcomes. These results have been published in the “User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction” journal.


Jeong, S., Aymerich-Franch, L., Arias, K. et al. Deploying a robotic positive psychology coach to improve college students’ psychological well-being. User Model User-Adap Inter (2022).




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