ANSIBLE: A Virtual World Ecosystem for Improving Psycho-Social Well-being
We describe preliminary results of ANSIBLE – A Network of Social Interactions for Bilateral Life Enhancement. ANSIBLE leverages virtual worlds to deliver evidence based wellness promoting strategies and virtual agents as tools to facilitate asynchronous human-human communication in order to counteract behavioral health challenges associated with prolonged isolation and deep space exploration. ANSIBLE was deployed in August 2015 in a 12 month study with six crew members in an isolation simulated Mars habitat facility. In this paper, we compare the data for the first five months of this mission to a previous control mission for which ANSIBLE was not used. We found initial support for ANSIBLE to increase perceptions of closeness and satisfaction with friend and family relationships (but not other crew members) during prolonged isolation as well as a trend in stress reduction and increased feelings of ANSIBLE usability over time.
KeywordsVirtual worlds Virtual agents Psychological support Communications Psychological health
The above work was sponsored by NASA’s Human Research Program under contract #NNX14CJ06C. We would like to thank NASA personnel Lauren Leventon, Laura Bollweg, Jason Schneiderman, Diana Arias, Brandon Vessey, Al Holland, and Ron Moomaw for their oversight and direction. We would also like to thank the HI-SEAS crew members and their family and friends for their support.
- 3.Otto, C.: South Pole Station: an analogue for human performance during long-duration missions to isolated and confined environments: neurobiology, neurochemistry, and neurostructural changes in humans during prolonged isolation and confinement (White Paper). NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX: NASA JSC Behavioral Health and Performance Human Research Program and Space Medicine Division (2007)Google Scholar
- 6.Castronova, E., Wagner, G.G.: Virtual life satisfaction. Int. Rev. Soc. Sci. 64(3), 313–328 (2011)Google Scholar
- 11.Wu, P., Morie, J.F., Chance, E., Haynes, K., Hamell, J., Wall, P., Ladwig, J., Ott, T.: Maintaining psycho-social health on the way to mars and back. In: Virtual Reality International Conference (VRIC), 8–10 April, Laval, France (2015)Google Scholar
- 12.Cacioppo, J.T., Patrick, W.: Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection. WW Norton & Company, New York (2008)Google Scholar
- 13.Hawkley, L.C., Hughes, M.E., Waite, L.J., Masi, C.M., Thisted, R.A., Cacioppo, J.T.: From social structural factors to perceptions of relationship quality and loneliness: the Chicago health, aging, and social relations study. J. Gerontol. B Psychol. Sci. Soc. Sci. 63(6), S375–S384 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Bachman, K.R.O.B., Otto, C., Leveton, L.: Countermeasures to Mitigate the Negative Impact of Sensory Deprivation and Social Isolation in Long-Duration Space Flight. NASA/TM-2012-217365 (2012)Google Scholar
- 18.Kizony, R., Katz, N., Rand, D., Weiss, P.L.T.: Short Feedback Questionnaire (SFQ) to enhance client-centered participation in virtual environments. Cyberpsychology Behav. 9(6), 687–688 (2006)Google Scholar
- 21.Brooke, J.: SUS-a quick and dirty usability scale. Usability Eval. Ind. 189(194), 4–7 (1996)Google Scholar