“How am I Doing?” - Personifying Health through Animated Characters

  • Andreas Schmeil
  • Suzanne Suggs
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8519)


In this paper we present an experimental study that investigates the effects of a Virtual Representation of Health (VRH) – an online virtual character that personifies an individual’s health. Testing four different variations of the VRH, we aimed to understand which variation yields the strongest overall positive effect on triggering health behavior change. The results from data collected from 512 participants in three countries indicate that all tested variations can have a positive impact on health behavior change, and show that the ‘richest’ VRH variation, a virtual character that models health behavior using animations, juxtaposed by an animated personification of a possible future health, has the strongest overall positive effect, compared to the other tested variations.


Health behavior change personification VRH 3D animated characters virtual representation visual communication 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Schmeil
    • 1
  • Suzanne Suggs
    • 1
  1. 1.Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)LuganoSwitzerland

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