Studying the effect of mimicry by a virtual agent on user’s trust
Earlier research suggested that mimicry increases liking and trust in other people. Because people respond socially to technology and mimicry leads to the increased liking of virtual agents, we expected that a mimicking virtual agent would be liked and trusted more than a non-mimicking one. We investigated this expectation in an automotive setting. We performed an experiment in which participants played an investment game and a route planner game, to measure their behavioral trust in two virtual agents. These agents either mimicked participant’s head movements or not. Liking and trust of these virtual agents were measured with questionnaires. Results suggested that for the investment game, mimicry did not increase liking or trust. For the route planner game, however, a mimicking virtual agent was liked and trusted more than a non-mimicking virtual agent.
SPSS, Authorware, Vizard VM
Verberne, F. M., Ham, J., Ponnada, A., & Midden, C. J. (2013). Trusting digital chameleons: The effect of mimicry by a virtual social agent on user trust. In Persuasive Technology(pp. 234-245). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. [Best Paper Award – Persuasive 2013]
Prof. Jaap Ham (Prof., Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands), Prof. Cees Midden (Prof., Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands), Dr. Frank Verberne (Interpersonal Relations Researcher)