Exploring mindlessness as an explanation for the media equation : a study of stereotyping in computer tutorials
Johnson, Daniel M. & Gardner, John (2009) Exploring mindlessness as an explanation for the media equation : a study of stereotyping in computer tutorials. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 13(2), pp. 151-163.
This study extends previous media equation research by empirically testing the mindlessness explanation of media equation behaviour. The current study explored the potential moderating effect of mood on media equation behaviour. Specifically, the study assessed whether participants’ tendency to stereotype when interacting with a computer varied as a function of mood. Seventy-six undergraduate students were exposed to either a positive or negative mood manipulation and then completed a computer- based tutorial on car engines. The tutorial was presented using either a male or female synthesised voice. Participants’ affective state, attitudes and opinions were assessed via questionnaire. Female participants in a positive mood showed a greater propensity to genderstereotype computers than female participants in a negative mood, suggesting that media equation behaviour is more likely to result when people are in a mindless state. Male participants, however, did not show the same pattern of behaviour.
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