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The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the existing healthcare system by demanding potential patients to self-diagnose and self-test a potential virus contraction. In this process, some individuals need help and guidance. However, the previous modus-operandi to go to a physician is no longer viable because of the limited capacity and danger of spreading the virus. Hence, digital means had to be developed to help and inform individuals at home, such as conversational agents (CA). The human-like design and perceived social presence of such a CA are central to attaining users’ compliance. Against this background, we surveyed 174 users of a commercial COVID-19 chatbot to investigate the role of perceived social presence. Our results provide support that the perceived social presence of chatbots leads to higher levels of trust, which are a driver of compliance. In contrast, perceived persuasiveness seems to have no significant effect.



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