Graduation Year

2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Coovert, Michael

Keywords

computer supported cooperative work, locus of control, microcomputer playfulness, social responses to computers, mindlessness

Abstract

This study investigates whether the social facilitation effect takes place when a person performs a computerized task that includes an animated intelligent agent (IA). The moderating effects of two individual differences, locus of control (LOC) and microcomputer playfulness (MCP), are tested for. It was proposed that an IA's presence would cause participants to exhibit this effect and that LOC and MCP would moderate a participant's arousal, measured as state anxiety, such that those possessing an internal LOC and those exhibiting high MCP would experience less arousal when performing computerized tasks with an IA present. Data was analyzed using a 2 (task difficulty) x 4 (intelligent agent) repeated measures MANCOVA. Most hypotheses are not supported, however MCP does appear to moderate arousal depending on the behavior of the IA.

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