The behavioural impact of a visually represented virtual assistant in a selfservice checkout context

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Our research investigated whether the presence of an interface agent - or virtual assistant (VA) - in a self-service checkout context has behavioural effects on the transaction process during particular tasks. While many participants claimed to have not noticed a VA within the self-service interface, behaviour was still affected, i.e. fewer people made errors with the VA present than in the voice-only and control conditions. The results are explained as reflective of an unconscious observation of non-verbal cues exhibited by the VA. The results are discussed in relation to possible behavioural outcomes of VA presence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of HCI 2011 the 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
PublisherBCS Learning & Development Ltd.
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Event25th BCS onference on Human Computer Interaction, HCI 2011 - Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20118 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameElectronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
PublisherBCS Learning & Development
ISSN (Print)1477-9358


Conference25th BCS onference on Human Computer Interaction, HCI 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle Upon Tyne


  • Psychology
  • Performance
  • Error rates
  • Self-service
  • Interface agent
  • Virtual assistant

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