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Does Voice Kill the Text Star? No, It Does Not! An Online Experiment on the Trustworthiness of the Text-Based and Voice-Based Variants of Google Assistant.



RQ1: What characteristics do people attribute to conversational social agents? RQ2: Which characteristics predict the trustworthiness of conversational social agents?
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Does Voice Kill the Text Star? No, It Does Not!
An Online Experiment on the Trustworthiness of the Text-Based and
Voice-Based Variants of Google Assistant
Katrin Etzrodt // Sophie Wagner // Sven Engesser /// Corresponding Address:
Daft, R. L., & Lengel, R. H. (1986). Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design. Management Science, 32(5), 554571.
Kock, N. (2005). Media Richness or Media Naturalness? The Evolution of Our Biological Communication Apparatus and Its Influence on Our Behavior Toward E-Communication Tools.
IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 48(2), 117 130.
Reeves, B. & Nass, C. I. (1996). The media equation: How people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Media Richness. Richer information presentation
increases social reactions
(Daft & Lengel, 1986).
incompetent competent
unsocial social
emotional **
does not resemble resembles
not trustworthy
trustworthy *
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Google Home (n=60) Google Allo (n=62)
Attributes of Text-Based and Voice-Based Google Assistant
Predictors of Trustworthiness of Google Assistant
Criterion Variable (Gong, 2008)
Trustworthiness (trustworthy, reliable, honest, confidential, truthful)
Predictor Variables
Resemblance (resembling me, behaves like me, thinks like me)
PFA, promax (KMO = .70):
Competence (competent, informative, intelligent)
Sociability (entertaining, funny, sociable)
Emotional (sensitive, warm-hearted)
Control Variables
Personality (Rammstedt et al., 2013)
User Experience (Johnson et al., 2004)
Technical Affinity (Karrer et al., 2009)
N = 122, Google Home (n=60), Google Allo (n=62)
Aged between 15 and 69 (M = 27, SD = 12)
62 % women
Simulation of interaction through activating video input
2x1 between-subjects design
Google Home (voice) vs. Google Allo (text)
Manipulation check: 83 % perceived the interaction as close-to-reality
Media Equation. People show social reactions – e.g.
trust – towards conversational social agents (CSA)
(Reeves & Nass, 1996).
What characteristics do people attribute to conversational social agents?
Which characteristics predict the trustworthiness of conversational social agents?
Media Naturalness. More natural information
presentation increases social reactions
(Kock, 2005).
Media Equation. Respondents perceive both
assistants as competent, social and trustworthy.
Media Richness. The richer medium is not perceived
as more competent, social or trustworthy.
Media Naturalness. The text-based CSA appears
more natural: Google Allo is perceived as more
sensitive and warm-hearted, and thus more
trustworthy. The assistant's voice apparently
emphasized his artificiality more clearly.
Mode (Text)
Emotionality **
Competence ***
Technological Affinity
User Experience *
Gender (women)
+p< .1, * p< .05, ** p< .01 , *** p< .001
Standardized Regression Coefficient
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