Persuaded by the Machine: The Effect of Virtual Nonverbal Cues and Individual Differences on Compliance in Economic Bargaining

Harjunen, Ville and Spapé, Michiel M. and Ahmed, Imtiaj and Jacucci, Giulio and Ravaja, Niklas (2018) Persuaded by the Machine: The Effect of Virtual Nonverbal Cues and Individual Differences on Compliance in Economic Bargaining. Computers in Human Behavior, 87. pp. 384-394. ISSN 0747-5632 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

Receiving a touch or smile increases compliance in natural face-to-face settings. It has been unclear, however, whether a virtual agent’s touch and smile also promote compliance or whether there are individual differences in proneness to nonverbal persuasion. Utilising a multimodal virtual reality, we investigated whether touch and smile promoted compliance to a virtual agent’s requests and whether receiver’s personality modulated the effects. Compliance was measured using the ultimatum game, in which participants were asked to either reject or accept an agent’s monetary offers. Decision-making data were accompanied by offer-related cardiac responses, both of which were analyzed as a function of expression (anger, neutral, and happiness), touch (visuo-tactile, visual, no touch), and three personality traits: behavioral inhibition/activation system sensitivity (BIS/BAS) and justice sensitivity. People accepted unfair offers more often if the agents smiled or touched them. The effect of touch was more enhanced in those with low justice sensitivity and BAS, whereas facial expressions affected those with high BIS the most. Unfair offers amplified the cardiac response, but this effect was not dependent on nonverbal cues. Together, the results suggest that virtual nonverbal behaviors of virtual agents increase compliance and that there is substantial interindividual variation in proneness to persuasion.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Computers in Human Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Computers in Human Behavior, Vol 87, October 2018. Available under a Creative Commons license https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.06.012
Keywords: interpersonal touch, facial expression, compliance, decision-making, virtual agent
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Michiel Spape
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2018 09:17
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2018 09:17
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2537

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