Quid Pro Quo? Reciprocal Self-disclosure and Communicative Accomodation towards a Virtual Interviewer
Cassell and Miller  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.
KeywordsECA experimental study linguistic alignment communication adaptation theory reciprocal self-disclosure social effects virtual agent
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