Clemson researcher: Humanizing computer aids affects trust, dependence

July 17, 2012

Computerized aids that include person-like characteristics can influence trust and dependence among adults, according to a Clemson University researcher.

A recently published study by Clemson University psychology associate professor Richard Pak examined how decision-making would be affected by a human-like aid. The study focused on adults' trust, dependence, and performance while using a computerized decision-making aid for persons with diabetes.

The study is one of the first to examine how the design of decision-support on consumer devices can influence the level of trust that users place in that system and how much they use it. The design and look of an aid are important elements for designers because of the potential dangers associated when users trust unreliable decision aids or lack trust for reliable aids simply because of the their appearance.

"Just as trust is an important factor in how humans deal with other humans, it also can determine how users interact with computerized systems," Pak said. "Trust can be influenced by the aid's reliability and level of computerization as well as the user's experience and age."

Many people interact with computerized decision aids or automation on a daily basis, whether they're using , digital cameras or global positioning systems. When automation is only reliable sometimes, a person's level of trust becomes an important factor that determines how often the aid will be used.

"Figuring out how trust is affected by the design of computerized aids is important because we want people to trust and use only reliable aids," said Pak.

Pak's research findings have revealed that the inclusion of an image of a person can significantly alter perceptions of a computerized aid when there is no difference in the aid's reliability or presentation of information.

"Humanlike computer aids provide a reduced decision-making for adults," said Pak. "A plausible explanation is that the increase in trust led to an increased dependence on the aid, which led to faster performance."

Pak's future research will examine the specific aspects of the aid that affect in different age groups and gender. He also is studying the affects of the aids on users when faced with decisions that have either a high consequence, such as making health decisions, or a low consequence, such as deciding what type of computer to buy.

Pak's study was published Tuesday in the journal Ergonomics. The journal article was co-authored by Clemson researchers Nicole Fink, Margaux Price, Brock Bass and Lindsay Sturre.

Explore further: Study: Lowering cost doesn't increase hearing aid purchases

Related Stories

Study: Lowering cost doesn't increase hearing aid purchases

May 10, 2011
Lowering the cost of hearing aids isn't enough to motivate adults with mild hearing loss to purchase a device at a younger age or before their hearing worsens, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

'How-to' video tutorials could boost hearing aid use, say researchers

May 24, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- The main barriers to hearing aid use are being addressed by experts in Nottingham as part of an innovative research project.

A hearing aid you install yourself

May 17, 2011
Melbourne researchers have invented a small, smart, self-managed hearing aid that outperforms most conventional hearing aids for less than half the price.

Trust in your neighbors could benefit your health, study shows

August 31, 2011
Here's an easy way to improve your health: trust your neighbors. A new study from the University of Missouri shows that increasing trust in neighbors is associated with better self-reported health.

Recommended for you

A walk at the mall or the park? New study shows, for moms and daughters, a walk in the park is best

November 17, 2017
Spending time together with family may help strengthen the family bond, but new research from the University of Illinois shows that specifically spending time outside in nature—even just a 20-minute walk—together can ...

Risk of distracted driving predicted by age, gender, personality and driving frequency

November 17, 2017
New research identifies age, gender, personality and how often people drive as potential risk factors for becoming distracted while driving. Young men, extroverted or neurotic people, and people who drive more often were ...

When male voles drink alcohol, but their partner doesn't, their relationship suffers

November 17, 2017
A study of the effect of alcohol on long-term relationships finds that when a male prairie vole has access to alcohol, but his female partner doesn't, the relationship suffers - similar to what has been observed in human ...

Spanking linked to increase in children's behavior problems

November 16, 2017
Children who have been spanked by their parents by age 5 show an increase in behavior problems at age 6 and age 8 relative to children who have never been spanked, according to new findings in Psychological Science, a journal ...

Generous people give in a heartbeat—new study

November 15, 2017
Altruistic people are said to be "kind hearted" - and new research published in the journal Scientific Reports shows that generous people really are more in touch with their own hearts.

Teenage depression linked to father's depression

November 15, 2017
Adolescents whose fathers have depressive symptoms are more likely to experience symptoms of depression themselves, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.