O novo tribalismo digital
Um dos primeiros terá sido o mal-afamado Clippy do Microsoft Word, mas outros existiram e continuam a existir. O mundo dos assistentes virtuais cresceu, modificou-se e estes ajudantes virtuais assumiram a forma de avatars e têm um papel cada vez mais importante. David Zax escreve sobre um novo estudo, a ser publicado na Computers in Human Behavior, que mostra que a eficácia destes assistentes virtuais é directamente proporcional ao seu aspecto e este quanto mais humano for, melhor. Também, e segundo o estudo, preferimos os avatars semelhantes a nós próprios:
[…] Tara Behrend, an assistant professor of organizational sciences at George Washington University, and Lori Foster Thompson, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, studied a sample of 257 people who interacted with some kind of helping avatars. On the whole, people reported higher engagement with avatars that looked like them, in terms of race and gender. They also learned better from the avatars when the helpers appeared to hold similar opinions about success. Learners who preferred striving for a personal best (measured against prior performance), rather than an absolute best (measured against others’ performance), learned more when their avatars measured success the same way.
“There is no reason we should make attributions about a person based on their avatar’s appearance,” Behrend tells Fast Company. “But it’s likely that these tendencies are automatic–we tend to assume that ‘beautiful equals good,’ both in real life, and as we found, in the virtual world.” […]