Conversational Agents as Historical Figures: Individual Differences and Perceptions of Agent and Social Presence

ID: 49486 Type: Full Paper: Conceptual & Empirical Study
  1. Bob Heller, Athabasca University, Canada

Wednesday, June 29 3:15-3:45 PM

No presider for this session.

Eight-six students chatted online for 10 minutes with a historical figure application of a conversational agent under 3 interface conditions; No Image, Static Image, or Animated Image with Voice. Students rated their perception of the agent and social presence and provided their VARK learning preferences, attitude toward online learning activities, attitude toward the historical figure, and academic background. The No Image condition was associated with the highest ratings of Agent Evaluation (AE) and Social Presence (SP). For both AE and SP, there were both positive and negative correlations with VARK learning preferences. The attitude measures and academic background were also related to AE and SP. A simple regression analysis indicated approximately 15% of the variance in Agent Evaluation and Social Presence was significantly predicted from individual differences. These findings add to the sparse literature on individual differences and effective agent design.

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