Multi-Perspective Persuasion by a Council of Virtual Coaches

Gerwin Harris Huizing, Randy Klaassen, Dirk K.J. Heylen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Multi-perspective group persuasion by virtual characters has the potential to improve behaviour change support systems by making them more persuasive, satisfying to use, and effective at achieving value-added user outcomes. In this paper, we present a study into multi-perspective persuasion by a coaching team of virtual characters, in which we tried to investigate the effects of inter-coach discussion on multi-perspective persuasion on the topic of weight loss. We investigated the effects of inter-coach discussion during a coaching session with respect to the perception of the coaches, and their ability to coach. We compared two conditions. In one condition the coaches merely gave tips, and in the other they had brief discussions in between the tips. We used questionnaires, and held interviews to gain more insight on the perception of the council, and to determine whether commitment to tips changed due to inter-coach discussion. We found a minor difference in perception of the council between the conditions. We did not find perceived coaching ability to differ. Participants had a preference for the inter-coach discussion when they noticed the difference between conditions. There was a minor influence of inter-coach discussion on reflection on which approach to choose and why. There was a small increase in commitment to advice when inter-coach discussion had taken place. Finally, feedback from the interviews indicated the type of discussion the coaches have, influences how the participants perceived it. We conclude that inter-coach discussion between agents during group interaction, when noticed, is preferred by people. We also suggest that well-designed and pretested persuasive group discussion dialogues performed by virtual agents could have an effect on changing the opinions people have.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2020
Event8th International Workshop on Behavior Change Support Systems, BCSS 2020 - Virtual Conference, Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 21 Apr 202021 Apr 2020
Conference number: 8


Conference8th International Workshop on Behavior Change Support Systems, BCSS 2020
Abbreviated titleBCSS 2020


  • Virtual agents
  • Multi-perspective persuasion
  • Group discussion


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-Perspective Persuasion by a Council of Virtual Coaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this