Embodied Conversational Agents: Effects on Memory Performance and Anthropomorphisation

  • Robbert-Jan Beun
  • Eveliene de Vos
  • Cilia Witteman
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2792)


It is often assumed that the use of Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs) in human-computer interfaces improves human-computer interaction. Because of their appearance and because they show human-like communicative behaviour, users tend to ascribe human characteristics to ECAs or ‘anthropomorphize’ them. Since interacting with another human being comes natural to people, anthropomorphisation of agents in an interface is thought to improve the process of communication. As a result, other usability aspects, such as satisfaction and learnability, would probably benefit. This paper describes a study into anthropomorphisation of ECAs and their effect on memory performance. The results of our study show that the presence of an ECA has a positive effect on retainability of information, but that this effect is not necessarily influenced by anthropomorphism.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robbert-Jan Beun
    • 1
  • Eveliene de Vos
    • 1
  • Cilia Witteman
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Information and Computing SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Diagnostic Decision Making, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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