Is computer field mature enough to be used as a tool in psychology?

  • Daniel Y. Hosomi UNICAMP
  • Larissa B. Mota PUC-Campinas
  • Solange M. Wechsler PUC-Campinas
  • Helio Azevedo CTI


The last two decades have shown an increasing number of studies involving “virtual psychotherapists” and robot caregivers of humans with cognitive, social, behavioral deficits or some other type of disorder. A characteristic of these studies is the need to combine actors of the computer, psychology and psychiatry areas. To establish the needs and contributions of these actors we conducted searches in two different databases: PsycoInfo of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Web of Science of the Clarivate Analytics. If, on the one hand, this analysis reveals the fundamental contribution of psychology in the development of applications to meet the demand for virtual agents and social robots, on the other hand, the analysis also identified the contributions and factors that still need to be addressed to enable the widespread use of these agents as a support tool in psychology and psychiatry clinics.


American Psychological Association (APA) (2023). Dictionary of Psychology. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

APA PsycoInfo (2023). ”Overview of APA PsycoInfo. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

Bokma, W. A. and (2020). Predicting the naturalistic course in anxiety disorders using clinical and biological markers: A machine learning approach. Psychological Medicine.

Conti, D., Cattani, A., Di Nuovo, S., and Di Nuovo, A. (2019). Are Future Psychologists Willing to Accept and Use a Humanoid Robot in Their Practice? Italian and English Students’ Perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.

David, D. O., Costescu, C. A., Matu, S., Szentagotai, A., and Dobrean, A. (2018). Developing joint attention for children with autism in robot-enhanced therapy. International Journal of Social Robotics, 10(5):595–605.

Eichenberg, C. and Kusel, C. (2018). Roboter in der Psychotherapie: Intelligente artifizielle Systeme. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

ETHICS IEEE (2021). Welcome to ETHICS-2021. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

Fiske, A., Henningsen, P., and Buyx, A. (2019). Your robot therapist will see you now: Ethical implications of embodied artificial intelligence in psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(5).

ICRES (2022). Welcome to ICRES 2022. International Conference on Robot Ethics and Standards. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

IFR Press Room (2021a). 3 Presentation of World Robotics 2021. [link]. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

IFR Press Room (2021b). ”Service Robots” Hit Double Digit Growth Worldwide. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

Kantayya, S. (2020). ”Coded Bias” Documentary. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

Larissa Braga Mota and Daniel Yuji Hosomi (2023). Spreadsheet with Reference Classification Groups. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.

Maskey, M., McConachie, H., Rodgers, J., Grahame, V., Maxwell, J., Tavernor, L., and Parr, J. R. (2019). An intervention for fears and phobias in young people with autism spectrum disorders using flat screen computer-delivered virtual reality and cognitive behaviour therapy. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 59:58–67.

Norman, D. A. and Rumelhart, D. E. (1975). Explorations in Cognition. W. H. Freeman, San Francisco.

Provoost, S., Lau, H. M., Ruwaard, J., and Riper, H. (2017). Embodied Conversational Agents in Clinical Psychology: A Scoping Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(5):e151.

Riek, L. (2012). Wizard of Oz Studies in HRI: A Systematic Review and New Reporting Guidelines. Journal of Human-Robot Interaction, pages 119–136.

Sartorato, F., Przybylowski, L., and Sarko, D. K. (2017). Improving therapeutic outcomes in autism spectrum disorders: Enhancing social communication and sensory processing through the use of interactive robots. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 90:1–11.

Sternberg, R. J. and Sternberg, K. (2012). Cognitive Psychology. Wadsworth Publishing, 6 edition.

Trevisan, D. F. and et al. (2019). A review of the use of computational technology in applied behavior analysis. Adaptive Behavior, 27(3):183–196.

Wardenaar, K. J. and et al. (2021). Common and specific determinants of 9-year depression and anxiety course-trajectories: A machine-learning investigation in the netherlands study of depression and anxiety (nesda). Journal of Affective Disorders, 293:295–304.

Web of Science (2023). ”Web of Science: Confident research begins here. accessed on 18 fev. 2023.
Como Citar

Selecione um Formato
HOSOMI, Daniel Y.; MOTA, Larissa B.; WECHSLER, Solange M.; AZEVEDO, Helio. Is computer field mature enough to be used as a tool in psychology?. In: WORKSHOP SOBRE ASPECTOS SOCIAIS, HUMANOS E ECONÔMICOS DE SOFTWARE (WASHES), 8. , 2023, João Pessoa/PB. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2023 . p. 11-20. ISSN 2763-874X. DOI: