Sin-hwa Kang: “Exploring Users’ Social Responses to Computer Counseling Interviewers’ Behavior”

June 19, 2013 | London, UK

Speaker: Sin-hwa Kang
Host: International Communication Association Conference

Abstract: We explore the effect of behavioral realism and reciprocal self-disclosure from computer interviewers on the social responses of human users in simulated psychotherapeutic counseling interactions. To investigate this subject, we designed a 3×3 factorial between-subjects experiment involving three conditions of behavioral realism: high realism, low realism, and audio-only (displaying no behavior at all) and three conditions of reciprocal self-disclosure: high reciprocity, low reciprocity, and no reciprocity. We measured users’ feelings of social presence (Copresence, Social Attraction, and Emotional Credibility), rapport, perception of the quality of users’ own responses (Embarrassment and Self-Performance), emotional state (PANAS), perception of an interaction partner (Person Perception), self-reported self-disclosure, speech fluency (Pause Fillers and Incomplete Words), and verbal self-disclosure. The results of objective data analysis demonstrated that users disclosed greater verbal self-disclosure when interacting with computer interviewers that displayed high behavioral realism and high reciprocity of self-disclosure. Users also delivered more fluent speech when interacting with computer interviewers that displayed high behavioral realism. The results are described in detail and implications of the findings are discussed in this paper.