Attitudes Toward a Virtual Smoking Cessation Coach: Analysis Code



This is the analysis code underlying the paper "Attitudes Toward a Virtual Smoking Cessation Coach: Relationship and Willingness to Continue" by Nele Albers, Mark A. Neerincx, Nadyne L. Aretz, Mahira Ali, Arsen Ekinci and Willem-Paul Brinkman. In this paper, we conduct a mixed-methods analysis of people's relationship and willingness to continue working with the text-based virtual coach Sam.


Our analysis is based on the data collected in an online experiment in which more than 500 daily smokers interacted with the text-based virtual coach (i.e., a conversational agent) in up to 5 sessions spread over at least 9 days. In each session, Sam proposed a new preparatory activity for quitting smoking or becoming more physically active, with the latter possibly aiding the former. After the 5 sessions, participants filled in a post-questionnaire in which they answered 6 questions about their attitude toward Sam by means of a rating on a scale from -5 to 5 and a free-text response to the follow-up question "Why do you think so?" The questions were adapted based on the ones by Provoost et al. (2020). Our paper focuses on people's responses to the questions "Do you prefer continuing or stopping to work with the conversational agent Sam?" (-5: "Definitely prefer stopping", 5: "Definitely prefer continuing") and "How would you characterize your relationship with the conversational agent Sam?" (-5: "Complete stranger", 5: "Close friend"). The complete dataset can be found here: Notably, this dataset contains only data used to study the acceptance of the virtual coach Sam. Further data from the same study has been published in separate repositories (e.g.,

Virtual coach:

The implementation of the virtual coach is available here:


Our mixed-methods analysis is based on the publicly available Bachelor's theses by Nadyne L. Aretz and Mahira Ali:

Reasons for wanting to continue or stop using a virtual coach for quitting smoking and increasing physical activity:
Relationship with Sam:

In this repository, we provide all code needed to reproduce the analyses reported in our paper. We thereby largely rely on Docker. Please refer to the README-file for more information.

In case of questions about the analysis or data, please contact Nele Albers (
Date made available6 Feb 2023
PublisherTU Delft - 4TU.ResearchData
Date of data production2023 -

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