Seminar: Reactance to Human versus Artificial Intelligence

  • Date: Jun 14, 2022
  • Time: 03:00 PM
  • Speaker: Anne Scherer, University of Zurich
  • Location: Max Planck Dahlem Campus of Cognition, Dillenburger Straße 53, 14199 Berlin
  • Room: Meeting Space
  • Host: Center for Humans and Machines
Seminar: Reactance to Human versus Artificial Intelligence

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Anne Scherer, University of Zurich

Reactance to Human versus Artificial Intelligence: When Information from Human and Artificial Agents Leads to Different Reactions

In this seminar, Prof. Dr. Anne Scherer will be presenting her paper with the same title. People increasingly receive information from artificial agents, such as robo-advisors and artificial intelligence, be it on retirement planning, health insurance or social benefits. Sometimes, this information is negative and undesirable for the person receiving it. Little research has examined the interplay of who is giving the information and what information is provided. Across four experiments and one field study, the research team shows that people accept desirable information more readily than undesirable information when the source is a human agent, while they are equally accepting of both when the source is an artificial agent. Drawing from reactance theory, they show that these differences arise because threatening information arouses less reactance when provided by a non-social rather than a social source, which, in turn, reduces reactance-style responses. These results have important implications for organizations in the public and private sector that need to confront people with information they may not like to hear.


Anne Scherer is an Assistant Professor of Quantitative Marketing at the University of Zurich. Prior to joining the University of Zurich, Anne has worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Chair of Technology Marketing at the ETH Zurich and as a doctoral researcher at the Technische Universität München. Anne’s research focuses on the intersection of consumer psychology and technology. Her TEDxTalk on how our conversations with machines differ from those with humans has received over 1.8 million views.


Attend at the Max Planck Dahlem Campus of Cognition or join online:

Webex Access
Meeting number: 2744 779 9025
Password: fGdnwcQC547

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