Persuaded by the machine: The effect of virtual nonverbal cues and individual differences on compliance in economic bargaining

Ville Harjunen, Michiel Spape, Imtiaj Ahmed, Giulio Jacucci, Niklas Ravaja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
202 Downloads (Pure)

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. Utilizing 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384–394
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume87
Early online date2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Compliance
  • Decision-making
  • Facial expression
  • Interpersonal touch
  • Virtual agent

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Persuaded by the machine: The effect of virtual nonverbal cues and individual differences on compliance in economic bargaining'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this