University of Twente Student Theses


Het effect van virtuele agents op het beslissingsproces in B2B

Willems, L.L. (2011) Het effect van virtuele agents op het beslissingsproces in B2B.

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Abstract:Much literature exists on the use of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) and their influence on trust in business-to-consumer (B2C) interaction. However, little is known if these findings also apply in business-to-business (B2B) interactions. This research therefore investigates if findings about IVAs in B2C also apply in B2B. It does so by looking at the effects of an IVA on trust. Based on literature we state that initially, trust is determined by the behavior and physical characteristics of a person or a system. Our research takes a look at the degree of realism and animation of the IVA in relation to the resulting level of trust. In B2B a lot of decisions are being made based on incomplete or uncertain information. Therefore, the influence of the presence of an uncertainty indicator on trust is also considered. Our research also determines what the degree of trust implies for reliance on the system. Our results suggest that a realistic IVA is a more adequate representation for a decision support system in B2B. The degree of animation had no impact on trust. An explanation could be that both low and high degree of animation produced a very low perception of social presence. A marginal effect was found when the uncertainty indicator was used by the iconic IVA. The effect suggests that the presence of an uncertainty indicator lowers the amount of trust generated. Trust was found to be a significant predictor of reliance. More trust in the system means more (future) reliance on the system.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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