PIV++: Evaluating a Personalizable, Inconspicuous Vibrotactile (PIV) Breathing Pacer for In-the-Moment Affect Regulation

Pardis Miri, Emily Jusuf, Horia Margarit, Robert Flory, Andero Uusberg, Katherine Isbister, Keith Marzullo , and James J. Gross
CHI: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2020
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 success) 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. This is the first mixed-design study of a vibrotactile affect regulation technology which accounts for individual differences and user-technology engagement in relation to the technology's efficacy in the presence of a specific stressor. Guidelines in this paper can be applied for designing and evaluating other affect regulation technologies.