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.
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