How Human Is Your Computer? Measuring Ethopoeic Perceptions Of Computers
Free (open access)
J. P. Charlton
The extent to which people have human-like perceptions of, and relationships with, computers is considered along with previous attempts at measuring these phenomena. A distinction is made between the unrealistic notion that adults anthropomorphise the computers that they use everyday in the same way that they anthropomorphise entities such as animals (e.g. ascribe feelings and purpose to them) and the more realistic idea that some people perceive such computers as having human-like characteristics while not believing that they are sentient and purposeful (following previous work, such perceptions are labelled ethopoeic). Based upon the assumption that one way of assessing the extent of people’s ethopoeic perceptions of computers is to measure the extent to which they consider that words describing human-like cognitive and volitional qualities can also be applied to computers, a short scale measuring ethopoeic perceptions of computers is developed. This scale, entitled the Computer Perceptions Scale (CPS), is shown to be unifactorial and reliable. CPS scores are shown to be negatively related to computing experience and trait computer anger. Finally, a research agenda is outlined in which it is planned to use the scale to investigate the extent to which individual differences in ethopoeic perceptions of computers are involved in both the differential attribution of blame to computers for anger inducing computing incidents and the degree to which the anger resulting from such incidents causes overt expression of anger towards computers. Keywords: human-computer relationships, anthropomorphism, ethopoeia, individual differences, human sex differences, computer experience, anger. 1 Introduction 1.1 The nature of human-computer relationships The idea that people have social relationships with computers has been around for a long time, Turkle  perhaps being the most prominent early proponent of
human-computer relationships, anthropomorphism, ethopoeia, individual differences, human sex differences, computer experience, anger.