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Trusting Digital Chameleons: The Effect of Mimicry by a Virtual Social Agent on User Trust

  • Frank M. F. Verberne
  • Jaap Ham
  • Aditya Ponnada
  • Cees J. H. Midden
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7822)

Abstract

Earlier research suggested that mimicry increases liking and trust in other people. Because people respond socially to technology and mimicry leads to 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. These results suggest that mimicry could be a useful tool to persuade users to trust a virtual agent.

Keywords

liking trust virtual agent investment game route planner game 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank M. F. Verberne
    • 1
  • Jaap Ham
    • 1
  • Aditya Ponnada
    • 2
  • Cees J. H. Midden
    • 1
  1. 1.Eindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Indian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia

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