Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Robert Moran 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

Hi there, my name is Robert and I have recently completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology. I thoroughly enjoyed the course in the tech pathway and I especially enjoyed my final year thesis project which investigated the effect of Anthropomorphism adn Interaction Style on Attitudes toward chatbots. I am excited to get out into the working world and start my new position at Enquirybot. I hope to continue my career in the tech industry. Please feel free to contact me through LinkedIn if you have any thoughts or questions

Project Description

This study explores how anthropomorphism and interaction styles in chatbots influence user attitudes. Anthropomorphism, where human-like traits are attributed to non-human entities, and interaction styles, either task-oriented or social-oriented, can impact chatbot effectiveness. Despite widespread use of chatbots, there's limited research on these factors and how they affect user satisfaction.

A 2x2 factorial design with 61 participants examined the effects of these variable on attitudes toward chatbots. Participants engaged with chatbots designed to represent four conditions: human-like vs. non-human-like, and task-oriented vs. social-oriented. Future research should examine larger samples, longer interactions, and specific industry contexts to refine our understanding of optimal chatbot design.

Project Objectives

The primary objective of this study is to investigate how anthropomorphism and interaction styles in chatbots affect user attitudes. Anthropomorphism involves attributing human-like characteristics to chatbots, while interaction styles refer to the manner in which chatbots communicate with users—either in a task-oriented or social-oriented way.

The study aims to:

Determine if chatbots with more anthropomorphic features are perceived more positively by users.

Evaluate whether social-oriented interaction styles lead to better user attitudes compared to task-oriented styles.

Assess the combined impact of anthropomorphism and interaction styles on user attitudes to identify if there's an interaction effect.

To achieve these objectives, a 2x2 factorial experiment with 61 participants was designed. Participants interacted with chatbots representing different conditions (human-like vs. non-human-like, and task-oriented vs. social-oriented), and their attitudes were measured using a 7-point Likert scale. The study hoped to provide emirical insights for businesses and chatbot developers to improve user satisfaction and chatbot effectiveness.

Project Outcomes

The study's results indicate that both anthropomorphism and interaction styles in chatbots impact user attitudes. Their attitudes were measured before and after interacting with the chatbots.

The findings suggest:

Human-like chatbots tend to elicit more positive attitudes compared to non-human-like ones.

Social-oriented chatbots are associated with more favorable user attitudes compared to task-oriented chatbots.

However, there was no significant interaction between anthropomorphism and interaction styles, indicating that the factors affect user attitudes independently.

Overall, the results point to the importance of human-like features and social-oriented interaction styles in chatbot design, emphasizing their potential to increase user satisfaction. These results can guide businesses and developers in creating more effective and user-friendly chatbots. Future research could explore larger sample sizes, more complex interactions, and industry-specific contexts to further understand these dynamics.

Thesis Title

The Effect of Anthropomorphism and Interaction Style on Attitudes toward Chatbots.