The Influence of Conversational Agents on Socially Desirable Responding


Conversational agents, technology, System Sciences, medical interview


Conversational agents (CAs) are becoming an increasingly common component in many information systems. The ubiquity of CAs in cell phones, entertainment systems, and messaging applications has led to a growing need to understand how design choices made when developing CAs influence user interactions. In this study, we explore the use case of CAs that gather potentially sensitive information from people—for example, in a medical interview. Using a laboratory experiment, we examine the influence of CA responsiveness and embodiment on the answers people give in response to sensitive and non-sensitive questions. The results show that for sensitive questions, the responsiveness of the CA increased the social desirability of the responses given by participants.

Original Publication Citation

Schuetzler, R. M., Giboney, J. S., Grimes, G. M., & Nunamaker, J. F. (2018) The Influence of Conversational Agents on Socially Desirable Responding. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Waikoloa Village, HI, January 3–6.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences




Marriott School of Business


Information Systems

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor