Users’ Relational Ascriptions in User-Companion Interaction

  • Julia KrügerEmail author
  • Mathias Wahl
  • Jörg Frommer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9733)


In a qualitative study in the field of user-companion interaction (UCI), we figured out that users of a system, which was meant to represent a preliminary step towards future Companion-systems, tend to individually ascribe (mostly human-like) characteristics to the system in order to turn it into a potential relational partner. Users’ intrinsic motivation to establish and maintain a relationship with these individualized systems was found throughout the analyses and led us to the development of a concept called ‘users’ relational ascriptions’. In this paper, we present the empirical background of this concept and describe defining characteristics of relational ascriptions, reasons for their formation, factors that influence their content and quality as well as factors, which are influenced by the ascriptions. We sum up with a definition of relational ascriptions and discuss practical implications and future work.


Companion-systems Users’ ascriptions Anthropomorphization User experience Mental models Qualitative research 



The presented study is performed in the framework of the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 62 “A Companion-Technology for Cognitive Technical Systems” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The responsibility for the content of this paper lies with the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Faculty, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyOtto von Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

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