The Effects of Modality, Device, and Task Differences on Perceived Human Likeness of Voice-Activated Virtual Assistants

Eugene Cho, Maria D. Molina, Jinping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Paying attention to the rising popularity of virtual assistants (VAs) that offer unique user experiences through voice-centered interaction, this study examined the effects of modality, device, and task differences on perceived human likeness of, and attitudes toward, voice-activated VAs. To do so, a 2 (modality: voice vs. text) × 2 (device: mobile vs. laptop) × 2 (task type: hedonic vs. utilitarian) mixed factorial experimental design was employed. Findings suggest that voice (vs. text) interaction leads to more positive attitudes toward the VA system mediated by heightened perceived human likeness of the VA, but only with utilitarian (vs. hedonic) tasks. Interestingly, laptop (vs. mobile phone) interaction also enhanced perceived human likeness of the VA. This study offers theoretical and practical implications for VA research by exploring the combinational effects of modality, device, and task differences on user perceptions through human-like interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-520
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

Keywords

  • computers are social actors (CASA)
  • conversational agent(s)
  • human likeness
  • modality
  • social presence
  • virtual assistant(s) (VAs)
  • voice assistant(s)

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