Speaking Fast and Slow: How Speech Rate of Digital Assistants Affects Likelihood to Use

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University of Alabama Libraries

Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa are adaptable service robots which interact vocally to deliver services to consumers. During interactions, these digital assistants provide a unique opportunity for marketers to convey social and emotional information by altering qualities of their voices, such as speech rate. However, as brands begin to adapt their digital assistant voices, they have little research to guide them in creating positive consumer responses and avoiding negative ones. Across seven experiments, the process of how digital assistant speech rate affects consumer emotions and likelihood to use is uncovered and explained. Nervousness and risk facilitate the process, while interaction style and personal differences are shown to moderate the effects. Experiment 1 begins by showing speech rates which are significantly faster or slower can negatively impact likelihood to use a digital assistant. Following this, experiments 2A-B uncover the process of effects and show feelings of nervousness as well as risk mediate the relationship between speech rate and usage intentions. Experiments 3A-B provide managers with applicable moderators for the effects while experiments 4A-B provide a complete moderated mediation model. This work contributes to the sensory marketing literature focused on sound and its impact upon consumer perceptions and behaviors.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Digital Assistant, Human Computer Interaction, Sensory Marketing, Sound, Voice