Effects of smiling and gender on trust toward a recommendation agent

Siu Man LUI, Wendy HUI

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study seeks to determine whether a recommendation agent's smile and gender affect users' trust toward the agent. We also investigate gender differences in trust toward recommendation agents of different genders and facial expressions. We present findings from a 2×2 experiment (male vs. female and smiling vs. non-smiling agents). In the context of laptop shopping, we found that on average smiling agents are perceived to be more competent than non-smiling agents and male agents are perceived to be more competent than female agents. There is a significant interaction effect between an agent's smile and gender on trust in benevolence. Specifically, male subjects tend to believe that smiling agents are more competent than nonsmiling agents, while female subjects are less sensitive to the agent's smile. Interestingly, female subjects perceive male agents to be more competent than female agents, while male subjects are almost indifferent toward the agent's gender. Among the female subjects, trust in benevolence is highest toward a smiling male agent. Our results suggest that the gender and facial expressions of a recommendation agent should be considered when designing a virtual salesperson for online stores.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2010 International Conference on Cyberworlds, CW 2010
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780769542157
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Cyberworlds - Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 1 Oct 20101 Oct 2010


ConferenceInternational Conference on Cyberworlds


  • Affective
  • Gender
  • Recommendation agents
  • Smiling
  • Trust


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