SIGdial 2013

14th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

Verbal indicators of psychological distress in interactive dialogue with a virtual human

David DeVault, Kallirroi Georgila, Ron Artstein, Fabrizio Morbini, David Traum, Stefan Scherer, Albert (Skip) Rizzo, Louis-Philippe Morency

We explore the presence of indicators of psychological distress in the linguistic behavior of subjects in a corpus of semi-structured virtual human interviews. At the level of aggregate dialogue-level features, we identify several significant differences between subjects with depression and PTSD when compared to non-distressed subjects. At a more fine-grained level, we show that significant differences can also be found among features that represent subject behavior during specific moments in the dialogues. Finally, we present statistical classification results that suggest the potential for automatic assessment of psychological distress in individual interactions with a virtual human dialogue system.