Trust in Computers: The Computers-Are-Social-Actors (CASA) Paradigm and Trustworthiness Perception in Human-Computer Communication

Trust in Computers: The Computers-Are-Social-Actors (CASA) Paradigm and Trustworthiness Perception in Human-Computer Communication

Jong-Eun Roselyn Lee (Hope College, USA) and Clifford I. Nass (Stanford University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-901-9.ch001

Abstract

Research based on the Computers-Are-Social-Actors (CASA) paradigm has documented that people’s responses to computers are fundamentally “social”—that is, people apply social rules, norms, and expectations core to interpersonal relationships when they interact with computers. In light of the CASA paradigm, identifying the conditions that foster or undermine trust in the context of interpersonal communication and relationships may help us better understand the trust dynamics in human-computer communication. This chapter discusses experimental studies grounded in the CASA paradigm that demonstrate how (1) perceived people-computer similarity in personality, (2) manifestation of caring behaviors in computers, and (3) consistency in human/non-human representations of computers affect the extent to which people perceive computers as trustworthy.
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The Computers-Are-Social-Actors (Casa) Paradigm

Research based on the CASA paradigm has demonstrated that people respond to computers in the same manner as they would toward other people, and such responses can be triggered once certain social cues are manifested by the computers (Nass & Brave, 2005; Nass & Moon, 2000; Reeves & Nass, 1996). That is, once a computer (or computer agent) looks, “talks” (via either text or speech), or behaves like a person —however minimal these cues might be—people would respond to it as if it were a real person (Nass, Takayama, & Brave, 2006). In this section, we describe some of the key CASA studies which have established the “social-ness” of people’s responses to computers: studies on similarity attraction, reciprocity, and social stereotyping and categorization.

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