Someone Out There? A Study on the Social Presence of Anthropomorphized Chatbots

Konya-Baumbach, Elisa; Biller, Miriam; von Janda, Sergej (2023). Someone Out There? A Study on the Social Presence of Anthropomorphized Chatbots Computers in Human Behavior, 139 Elsevier

[img] Text
1-s2.0-S0747563222003338-main.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (11MB) | Request a copy

Companies are increasingly employing text-based chatbots as a time and cost-efficient way to interact with customers. While companies begin to explore anthropomorphic chatbot designs by imbuing chatbots with human-like characteristics, the effectiveness of chatbot anthropomorphism remains unclear. We conducted three experiments to assess the effectiveness of chatbot anthropomorphism in customer–chatbot interactions. By equipping chatbots with human-like linguistic cues, we evoke different levels of chatbot anthropomorphism. Our results show significant positive effects of chatbot anthropomorphism on trust, purchase intention, word of mouth, and satisfaction with the shopping experience. More importantly, we identify social presence as the underlying mediating mechanism of these effects. These effects are robust and not contingent on different shopping contexts distinguished by hedonic versus utilitarian shopping motivations or the disclosure of (non-)sensitive information by customers. The present research derives managerial implications for companies that seek to effectively employ chatbots in customer interactions. Further, this study advances research on customers’ reactions towards anthropomorphized chatbots and demonstrates that social presence is a critical driver of successful customer-chatbot interactions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Business School > Institute for Marketing & Global Management > Marketing
Business School


Konya-Baumbach, Elisa0000-0002-7990-8542;
Biller, Miriam and
von Janda, Sergej








Elisa Konya-Baumbach

Date Deposited:

24 Feb 2023 11:21

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2023 11:21

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Chatbots Anthropomorphism Social presence Utilitarian Hedonic Sensitive information




Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback