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research-article

DESIGNING FOR TRUST: UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF AGENT GENDER AND LOCATION ON USER PERCEPTIONS OF TRUST IN HOME AUTOMATION

[+] Author and Article Information
Nicole Damen

ASME Member, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Peter Kiewit Institute 367, Omaha, NE 68182
ndamen@unomaha.edu

Christine Toh

ASME Member, University of Nebraska Omaha, Peter Kiewit Institute 284-A, Omaha, NE 68182
ctoh@unomaha.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042223 History: Received April 29, 2018; Revised December 05, 2018

Abstract

Although trust can have a positively mediating effect on information technology adoption and usage, the concept has not been extensively investigated in the home automation field. Therefore, this work is aimed at exploring the role of agent location and the gender of the agent's voice on users' perception of trust towards automation through two experimental studies (N=8 & N=20) and a web-based smart lock simulation. Explicit trust behavior was captured using directly observable behaviors and decisions, while implicit trust behavior was captured using detailed click-level user behaviors with the smart lock simulation as a proxy for reaction time. The results show that users displayed more explicit trusting behavior towards the system when it displayed design characteristics that were stereotype congruent (female-home and male-office) compared to stereotype incongruent systems (male-home and female-office). These results show that users carry over the social expectations and roles encountered in human-to-human relationships to interactions with simulated automated agents. These findings empirically demonstrate the influence of design characteristics on the formation of trust relationships between users and automated devices and provide a foundation for future research geared at critically examining our evolving relationship with technology.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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