While introducing a human-like embodied character can enhance social presence in computing technology, it can often be poorly received because user preferences for particular appearance-based attributes are not taken into account. To investigate some of these preferences, specifically gender and dress code, this paper extends the findings of a small exploratory, interview-based study, to data obtained from 390 participants aged between 16 and 82 who chose their preferred three-dimensional virtual assistant (VA) as part of an interaction with a self-service checkout (SSCO) simulation. These data were collected from visitors to an exhibition at a science center in the UK. Chi-Square tests revealed a preference for female VAs, but only by female participants. There was no preference for formality of dress. The paper discusses the appropriateness of the following psychological theories to explain these results: the stereotype content model, the behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotype (BIAS) map framework, and the shifting standards model of stereotypes.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||International Society for Presence Research Annual Conference - Temple University, Philadelphia, United States|
Duration: 25 Oct 2012 → 26 Oct 2012
|Conference||International Society for Presence Research Annual Conference|
|Abbreviated title||ISPR 2012|
|Period||25/10/12 → 26/10/12|
Payne, J. A., Szymkowiak, A., Johnson, G. I., Robertson, P., & Henderson, R. (2012). Beyond embodiment and social presence: preferences for virtual assistant gender and clothing style. Paper presented at International Society for Presence Research Annual Conference, Philadelphia, United States.