The present research focuses on the interplay between two common features of the customer service chatbot experience: gaze direction and anthropomorphism. Although the dominant approach in marketing theory and practice is to make chatbots as human-like as possible, the current study, built on the humanness-value-loyalty model, addresses the chain of effects through which chatbots' nonverbal behaviors affect customers' willingness to disclose personal information and purchase intentions. By means of two experiments that adopt a real chatbot in a simulated shopping environment (i.e., car rental and travel insurance), the present work allows us to understand how to reduce individuals' tendency to see conversational agents as less knowledgeable and empathetic compared with humans. The results show that warmth perceptions are affected by gaze direction, whereas competence perceptions are affected by anthropomorphism. Warmth and competence perceptions are found to be key drivers of consumers' skepticism toward the chatbot, which, in turn, affects consumers' trust toward the service provider hosting the chatbot, ultimately leading consumers to be more willing to disclose their personal information and to repatronize the e-tailer in the future. Building on the Theory of Mind, our results show that perceiving competence from a chatbot makes individuals less skeptical as long as they feel they are good at detecting others' ultimate intentions.

I, chatbot! the impact of anthropomorphism and gaze direction on willingness to disclose personal information and behavioral intentions

Valentina Mazzoli;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The present research focuses on the interplay between two common features of the customer service chatbot experience: gaze direction and anthropomorphism. Although the dominant approach in marketing theory and practice is to make chatbots as human-like as possible, the current study, built on the humanness-value-loyalty model, addresses the chain of effects through which chatbots' nonverbal behaviors affect customers' willingness to disclose personal information and purchase intentions. By means of two experiments that adopt a real chatbot in a simulated shopping environment (i.e., car rental and travel insurance), the present work allows us to understand how to reduce individuals' tendency to see conversational agents as less knowledgeable and empathetic compared with humans. The results show that warmth perceptions are affected by gaze direction, whereas competence perceptions are affected by anthropomorphism. Warmth and competence perceptions are found to be key drivers of consumers' skepticism toward the chatbot, which, in turn, affects consumers' trust toward the service provider hosting the chatbot, ultimately leading consumers to be more willing to disclose their personal information and to repatronize the e-tailer in the future. Building on the Theory of Mind, our results show that perceiving competence from a chatbot makes individuals less skeptical as long as they feel they are good at detecting others' ultimate intentions.
2023
anthropomorphism
artificial intelligence
chatbot
chatbot trust
conversational agents
digital assistants
gaze direction
privacy disclosure
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1114787
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