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    Social Presence and Dishonesty in Retail

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018

    AUTHORS

    Susan Siebenaler, Andrea Szymkowiak, Paul Robertson, Graham Johnson, Jan Law & Kenneth Fee

    ABSTRACT

    http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/ewic/HCI2018.34

    Self-service checkouts (SCOs) in retail can benefit consumers and retailers, providing control and autonomy to shoppers independent from staff, together with reduced queuing times. Recent research indicates that the absence of staff may provide the opportunity for consumers to behave dishonestly, consistent with a perceived lack of social presence. This study examined whether a social presence in the form of various instantiations of embodied, visual, humanlike SCO interface agents had an effect on opportunistic user behaviour, i.e. an individual taking unwarranted advantages. Using a simulated SCO scenario, participants experienced various dilemmas in which they could financially benefit themselves undeservedly.

    We hypothesised that a humanlike social presence integrated within the checkout screen would receive more attention and result in fewer instances of dishonesty compared to a less humanlike agent. This was partially supported by the results. The findings contribute to the theoretical framework in social presence research. We concluded that companies adopting self-service technology may consider the implementation of social presence in technology applications to support ethical consumer behaviour, but that more research is required to explore the mixed findings in the current study.

    PAPER FORMATS

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