Brief Report: The Effectiveness of Hugging a Huggable Device Before Having a Conversation with an Unfamiliar Person for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Hirokazu Kumazaki, Hidenobu Sumioka, Taro Muramatsu, Yuichiro Yoshikawa, Jiro Shimaya, Ryoichiro Iwanaga, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Tomiki Sumiyoshi, Masaru Mimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sensory overresponsivity (SOR) emerges before anxiety and positively predicts subsequent increasing levels of anxiety in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sensory seeking behavior occurs as compensation for SOR, and individuals may seek sensory input in one sensory domain to compensate for SOR. Tactile seeking behavior is sufficient to decrease social anxiety in communicating with unfamiliar people. We assessed the effectiveness of hugging a huggable device before a conversation for reducing the psychological stress associated with speaking to an unfamiliar person or robot. Our analysis showed a significant effect, with Hugvie contributing to decreased stress for both interlocutors. Thus, this study demonstrated the efficacy of hugging it before conversation, which emphasizes the importance of tactile seeking for individuals with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Robot
  • Sensory over-responsivity
  • Sensory seeking
  • Social anxiety
  • Tactile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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