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Clifford Nass
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Computers as Social Actors
Clifford Nass
Stanford University

ABSTRACT In this presentation, Iíll discuss the results of a multi-year research program of experimental studies that demonstrate that human-computer interaction is fundamentally social. That is, Iíll demonstrate that users use social rules and invoke social schema to interpret and respond to computers. The research is based on the idea that one can apply theories and methods from the social sciences directly to usersí interactions with computers. Iíll also discuss implications of this research for how we should design and assess software.


Professor Clifford Nass is a professor of Communication at Stanford University. He is author (along with Byron Reeves) of the book, ďThe Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and PlacesĒ (New York: Cambridge University Press), as well as more than articles on human-computer interaction and related areas. He has worked at IBM, Intel Corporation and Microsoft. Nass received his BA cum laude in Mathematics and his Ph.D. in Sociology, both from Princeton University.

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