Should a chatbot disclose itself? Implications for an online conversational retailer

Roberta De Cicco, Susana Cristina Lima da Costa e Silva, Riccardo Palumbo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Today many consumers prefer interactions with companies via chat and instant messaging, however, although in most cases it is now a virtual agent to handle the interactions, many of them feel it would be eerie if a chatbot pretended to be human. The present study aims at disentangling this sort of ambivalence people have for chatbots through an investigation on how the explicit disclosure of the chatbot identity, before the interaction, influences consumers’ perceptions. Specifically, this study compares the effects that the explicit disclosure of the chatbot identity has on social presence trust and users’ attitudes toward the online retailer. Findings from an online experiment with 160 participants show that interacting with the chatbot whose identity has been primed through a disclosure leads to less perceived social presence, trust, and attitude toward the online retailer, compared to interacting with the chatbot whose identity has not been disclosed before the interaction. The study further analyses a causal chain among the variables, proving that social presence and trust mediate the relationship between the chatbot identity disclosure and the attitude toward the online retailer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChatbot Research and Design - 4th International Workshop, CONVERSATIONS 2020, Revised Selected Papers
Subtitle of host publicationChatbot Research and Design
EditorsAsbjørn Følstad, Theo Araujo, Symeon Papadopoulos, Effie L.-C. Law, Ewa Luger, Morten Goodwin, Petter Bae Brandtzaeg
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Pages3-15
Number of pages13
Volume12604
ISBN (Electronic)9783030682880
ISBN (Print)9783030682873
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event4th International Workshop on Chatbot Research - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 23 Nov 202024 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12604 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference4th International Workshop on Chatbot Research
Country/TerritoryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period23/11/2024/11/20

Keywords

  • Attitude toward the online retailer
  • Chatbot
  • Disclosure
  • Social presence
  • Trust

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