Quid Pro Quo? Reciprocal Self-disclosure and Communicative Accomodation towards a Virtual Interviewer

  • Astrid M. von der Pütten
  • Laura Hoffmann
  • Jennifer Klatt
  • Nicole C. Krämer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6895)


Cassell and Miller [1] proposed the use of virtual agents as interviewers to be advantageous, because one can control for interviewer effects and variance, provide a sense of anonymity and increase the interviewee’s motivation to complete the survey. Against the background of Communication Adaptation Theory and empirical results on reciprocal self-disclosure, we investigated the influence of the agent’s reciprocal self-disclosure and wordiness on participants’ self-disclosure and perception of the agent and the interview in an experimental study with a 2x2 between-subjects design. While reciprocal self-disclosure only affected perceived co-presence, wordiness influenced both the participants’ verbal behavior (with regard to word usage and intimacy of answers) and their perception of the interview. Theoretical implications are discussed.


ECA experimental study linguistic alignment communication adaptation theory reciprocal self-disclosure social effects virtual agent 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid M. von der Pütten
    • 1
  • Laura Hoffmann
    • 1
  • Jennifer Klatt
    • 1
  • Nicole C. Krämer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Social Psychology: Media and CommunicationUniversity Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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