Event Title

IRL vs. URL: The Effect of Perceived Social Presence on Online Donations

Presenter Information

Peace Iyiewuare, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center A247

Start Date

10-28-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 3:20 PM

Abstract

This study will investigate how social presence can be integrated into technological interfaces and affects user behavior. Social presence refers to the number and salience of other people in a real-world or virtual environment. Computer interfaces often lack human warmth and sociability, since websites and computer programs are more anonymous and automated compared to face to face interactions. Therefore, it’s important to research if variability in peoples’ perception of social presence on a webpage affects their behavior. Specifically, we will examine if differing levels of social presence in a controlled virtual environment influences charitable giving. We predict that increasing levels of social presence on a charity website’s interface will elicit higher donations from users, as social presence has been shown to increase perceived trust, and trust is highly correlated with purchase intention. This is important because uncovering a difference in behavior can inform user interface designers on how to construct effective platforms. And because technology is rapidly expanding, researching human-computer interaction is critical in order to insure efficient usage.

Notes

Session I, Panel 2 - Media & Movements

Major

Psychology; Economics; Africana Studies

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Paul Thibodeau, Psychology

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Oct 28th, 2:00 PM Oct 28th, 3:20 PM

IRL vs. URL: The Effect of Perceived Social Presence on Online Donations

Science Center A247

This study will investigate how social presence can be integrated into technological interfaces and affects user behavior. Social presence refers to the number and salience of other people in a real-world or virtual environment. Computer interfaces often lack human warmth and sociability, since websites and computer programs are more anonymous and automated compared to face to face interactions. Therefore, it’s important to research if variability in peoples’ perception of social presence on a webpage affects their behavior. Specifically, we will examine if differing levels of social presence in a controlled virtual environment influences charitable giving. We predict that increasing levels of social presence on a charity website’s interface will elicit higher donations from users, as social presence has been shown to increase perceived trust, and trust is highly correlated with purchase intention. This is important because uncovering a difference in behavior can inform user interface designers on how to construct effective platforms. And because technology is rapidly expanding, researching human-computer interaction is critical in order to insure efficient usage.