This paper investigates how social cues, used to anthropomorphize assistance systems (ASs), like conversational agents, influences the behavior of users. We find that anthropomorphizing, in our case by giving them a voice, increases social presence, and, in turn, empathy and trust. Yet, we argue that social presence also has negative impacts. We propose—and empirically proof—that a higher social presence also leads to a stronger feeling of being observed. This, in contrary to our hypothesis, results in lower investments. Also, we found a trend of higher enjoyment with increasing feeling of being observed. This result emphasis the complexity of creating and designing ASs. Through the invocation of social presence anthropomorphizing might have negative and positive effects on outcome variables.
Heßler, Pascal; Pfeiffer, Jella; and Unfried, Matthias, "CONVERSATIONAL AGENTS WITH VOICE: HOW SOCIAL PRESENCE INFLUENCES THE USER BEHAVIOR IN MICROLENDING DECISIONS" (2023). ECIS 2023 Research Papers. 315.