Changing Attitudes and Performance with Computer-generated Social Models

Rinat B. Rosenberg-Kima, E. Ashby Plant, Amy L. Baylor, Celeste E. Doerr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Women’s under-representation in fields such as engineering may result in part from female students’ negative beliefs regarding these fields and their low self-efficacy for these fields. Empirical evidence indicates that computer-generated interface agents are effective in influencing students’ interest, motivation, attitudes, and self-efficacy. Hence, in this experimental study, we investigated the potential of interface agents to serve as effective social models for changing attitudes regarding the utility of math and the hard sciences and self-efficacy for these fields. 113 middle-school students interacted with either a female or a male computer-generated interface agent or they did not interact with an interface agent. The findings from this study indicate that interface agents may be used effectively as social models for influencing middle school students’ attitudes and beliefs about mathematics and the hard sciences and their mathematical ability. Nevertheless, the efficacy of the agent depended on the characteristics of the agent with the female agent tending to be the most effective regardless of the subject gender.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding Technology Rich Learning Contexts That Work
EditorsRosemary Luckin, Kenneth R. Koedinger, Jim Greer
PublisherIOS Press BV
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781586037642
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2007 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: 9 Jul 200713 Jul 2007

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389


Conference13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles


  • Anthropomorphic interface agents
  • attitude change
  • computer-based social modeling
  • persuasion


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