This research proposes that technological artifacts are perceived as social actors, and that users can make personality and behavioral attributions towards them. These formed perceptions interact with the user’s own characteristics in the form of an evaluation of similarity. Using an automated shopping assistant, the study investigates the effects of two types of perceived similarity on a number of dependent variables. The results show that both, perceived personality similarity, as well as perceived behavioral similarity, between the user and the decision aid positively affect users’ evaluations of the technological artifact. Furthermore, the study investigates the role of design characteristics in forming social perceptions about the shopping assistant. The results indicate that design characteristics, namely content, can be used to manifest desired personalities and behaviors, allowing us to compute measures of “actual” similarity, which were found to predict perceived similarity.
Al-Natour, Sameh; Benbasat, Izak; and Cenfetelli, Ronald T., "The Role of Similarity in e-Commerce Interactions: The Case of Online Shopping Assistants" (2005). SIGHCI 2005 Proceedings. 4.