Given the prevalence and adverse impact of anxiety, there is considerable interest in using technology to regulate anxiety. Evaluating the efficacy of such technology in terms of both the average effect (the intervention efficacy) and the heterogeneous effect (for whom and in what context the intervention was effective) is of paramount importance. In this paper, we demonstrate the efficacy of PIV, a personalized breathing pacer, in reducing anxiety in the presence of a cognitive stressor. We also quantify the relation between our specific stressor and PIV-user engagement. To our knowledge, this is the first mixed-design study of a vibrotactile affect regulation technology which accounts for a specific stressor and for individual differences in relation to the technology's efficacy. Guidelines in this paper can be applied for designing and evaluating other affect regulation technologies.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems