Mere presence, gender, and reactions to computers: Studying human-computer interaction in the social context

Kris Robinson-Staveley, Joel Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of mere presence, expectations for success, gender, and level of computer experience on reactions to computers were examined. In Study 1, 80 male and female college students completed a difficult computer task and a series of questionnaires in the presence or absence of another person. Men and women were differentially affected by the presence of another person. For women with little previous computer experience, those who worked in the presence of another performed less well, expressed more negative attitudes toward computers, and reported higher anxiety than did women who worked alone. For men, mere presence had the opposite effect. Performance and reactions of subjects high in computer experience were unaffected by gender or mere presence. In Study 2, expectations for success were manipulated, and interacted with the presence of another person, resulting in facilitation for positive expectancy subjects and impairment for negative expectancy subjects, relative to those working alone. Men and women were not differentially affected by the presence of another person. Gender differences in expectations for success seem to have determined whether mere presence resulted in facilitation or impairment effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-183
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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