Paper Number

1920

Paper Type

CRP

Abstract

The technology behind conversational agents (CAs) has reached a level of maturity and availability that many companies use to provide service to their customers. Nonetheless, CAs are still prone to errors. In this context, this study investigates how the perceived humanness of CAs influences users. Specifically, we theorize a cognitive route based on Attribution Theory and an affective route based on the desire of humans for social interaction. Based on the results of two online experiments with 252 participants, we show that perceived humanness affects service satisfaction via the affective route. In theory, this provides new insights into how CA’s perceived humaneness influences users’ cognitive and affective processing of the service and related errors. For practice, our results indicate that CA designers and developers should equip their CAs with humanlike elements (e.g., human name and avatar) to induce a perception of humanness.

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Jun 14th, 12:00 AM

Is it me, or is it you? – How Perceived Humanness Influences Users’ Cognitive and Affective Satisfaction with Conversational Agents that Make Errors

The technology behind conversational agents (CAs) has reached a level of maturity and availability that many companies use to provide service to their customers. Nonetheless, CAs are still prone to errors. In this context, this study investigates how the perceived humanness of CAs influences users. Specifically, we theorize a cognitive route based on Attribution Theory and an affective route based on the desire of humans for social interaction. Based on the results of two online experiments with 252 participants, we show that perceived humanness affects service satisfaction via the affective route. In theory, this provides new insights into how CA’s perceived humaneness influences users’ cognitive and affective processing of the service and related errors. For practice, our results indicate that CA designers and developers should equip their CAs with humanlike elements (e.g., human name and avatar) to induce a perception of humanness.

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