Syntactic alignment between computers and people: the role of belief about mental states

Holly P. Branigan, Martin J. Pickering, Jamie Pearson, Janet F. McLean, Clifford I. Nass

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

People tend to mirror the syntax used by their interlocutors in dialogue. Given that people treat computers as “social actors” in many ways, we might expect them to mirror computers’ syntax as well. We report an experiment in which naïve participants played a dialogue game in which they believed that they were interacting with either a person or a computer. In fact, in both cases their “interlocutor” was a computer program that produced pre-scripted utterances. Participants demonstrated a very strong tendency to repeat the syntactic form of their “interlocutor’s” immediately preceding utterance in both conditions. It does not appear that beliefs about the mental states of one’s interlocutor mediate between perception and production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts
EditorsRichard Alterman, David Kirsh
Place of PublicationMahwah, NJ
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates
Pages186-191
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0805849912
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, United States
Duration: 30 Jul 20031 Aug 2003
Conference number: 25

Conference

Conference25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Abbreviated titleCogSci 2003
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period30/07/031/08/03

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Interlocutors
Alignment
Syntax
Mental State
Utterance
Person
Repeats
Experiment
Nave

Cite this

Branigan, H. P., Pickering, M. J., Pearson, J., McLean, J. F., & Nass, C. I. (2003). Syntactic alignment between computers and people: the role of belief about mental states. In R. Alterman, & D. Kirsh (Eds.), Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts (pp. 186-191). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Branigan, Holly P. ; Pickering, Martin J. ; Pearson, Jamie ; McLean, Janet F. ; Nass, Clifford I. / Syntactic alignment between computers and people : the role of belief about mental states. Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts. editor / Richard Alterman ; David Kirsh. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003. pp. 186-191
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title = "Syntactic alignment between computers and people: the role of belief about mental states",
abstract = "People tend to mirror the syntax used by their interlocutors in dialogue. Given that people treat computers as “social actors” in many ways, we might expect them to mirror computers’ syntax as well. We report an experiment in which na{\"i}ve participants played a dialogue game in which they believed that they were interacting with either a person or a computer. In fact, in both cases their “interlocutor” was a computer program that produced pre-scripted utterances. Participants demonstrated a very strong tendency to repeat the syntactic form of their “interlocutor’s” immediately preceding utterance in both conditions. It does not appear that beliefs about the mental states of one’s interlocutor mediate between perception and production.",
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Branigan, HP, Pickering, MJ, Pearson, J, McLean, JF & Nass, CI 2003, Syntactic alignment between computers and people: the role of belief about mental states. in R Alterman & D Kirsh (eds), Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, pp. 186-191, 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Boston, United States, 30/07/03.

Syntactic alignment between computers and people : the role of belief about mental states. / Branigan, Holly P.; Pickering, Martin J.; Pearson, Jamie; McLean, Janet F.; Nass, Clifford I.

Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts. ed. / Richard Alterman; David Kirsh. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003. p. 186-191.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Syntactic alignment between computers and people

T2 - the role of belief about mental states

AU - Branigan, Holly P.

AU - Pickering, Martin J.

AU - Pearson, Jamie

AU - McLean, Janet F.

AU - Nass, Clifford I.

PY - 2003

Y1 - 2003

N2 - People tend to mirror the syntax used by their interlocutors in dialogue. Given that people treat computers as “social actors” in many ways, we might expect them to mirror computers’ syntax as well. We report an experiment in which naïve participants played a dialogue game in which they believed that they were interacting with either a person or a computer. In fact, in both cases their “interlocutor” was a computer program that produced pre-scripted utterances. Participants demonstrated a very strong tendency to repeat the syntactic form of their “interlocutor’s” immediately preceding utterance in both conditions. It does not appear that beliefs about the mental states of one’s interlocutor mediate between perception and production.

AB - People tend to mirror the syntax used by their interlocutors in dialogue. Given that people treat computers as “social actors” in many ways, we might expect them to mirror computers’ syntax as well. We report an experiment in which naïve participants played a dialogue game in which they believed that they were interacting with either a person or a computer. In fact, in both cases their “interlocutor” was a computer program that produced pre-scripted utterances. Participants demonstrated a very strong tendency to repeat the syntactic form of their “interlocutor’s” immediately preceding utterance in both conditions. It does not appear that beliefs about the mental states of one’s interlocutor mediate between perception and production.

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 0805849912

SP - 186

EP - 191

BT - Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts

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Branigan HP, Pickering MJ, Pearson J, McLean JF, Nass CI. Syntactic alignment between computers and people: the role of belief about mental states. In Alterman R, Kirsh D, editors, Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, July 31 - August 2 2003, Boston, Massachusetts. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2003. p. 186-191