Original Article


, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 261-273

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Two acts of social intelligence: the effects of mimicry and social praise on the evaluation of an artificial agent

  • Maurits KapteinAffiliated withEindhoven University of Technology Email author 
  • , Panos MarkopoulosAffiliated withEindhoven University of Technology
  • , Boris de RuyterAffiliated withPhilips Research The Netherlands
  • , Emile AartsAffiliated withPhilips Research The Netherlands


This paper describes a study of the effects of two acts of social intelligence, namely mimicry and social praise, when used by an artificial social agent. An experiment (N = 50) is described which shows that social praise—positive feedback about the ongoing conversation—increases the perceived friendliness of a chat-robot. Mimicry—displaying matching behavior—enhances the perceived intelligence of the robot. We advice designers to incorporate both mimicry and social praise when their system needs to function as a social actor. Different ways of implementing mimicry and praise by artificial social actors in an ambient persuasive scenario are discussed.


Ambient Intelligence Attitude change Persuasion Friendliness Chat-robot Mimicry Praise Social intelligence