Attributing Values to Devices

Avner Caspi*, Shir Etgar, Gitit Kavé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines anthropomorphism by testing the values that people attribute to electronic devices. We ask four main questions: Do people attribute human values to devices; Do devices differ in their value profiles; What underlies the attribution of values to devices; and Do individual and social differences affect these attributions. In Study 1, participants (N = 265) attributed Schwartz’s 10 basic human values to devices, reported their personal value priorities, as well as the frequency and difficulty in using each device. In Study 2, participants (N = 231) attributed values to devices, and responses were analyzed by age. Results show that people attribute human values to electronic devices, and that each device has a unique value profile. Anthropomorphizing devices reflects social consensus as to the symbolic meaning of each device, rather than projection of personal values or frequency of device use. Members of social groups share device values and differ from members of other groups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • anthropomorphism
  • attribution
  • electronic devices
  • values


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