Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI)
Human Computer Interaction Conference
4 - 6 July 2018
Self-service checkouts (SCOs) in retail can benefit consumers and retailers, providing control and autonomy to shoppers independent from staff, together with reduced queuing times. Recent re-search indicates that the absence of staff may provide the opportunity for consumers to behave dishonestly, consistent with a perceived lack of social presence. This study examined whether a social presence in the form of various instantiations of embodied, visual, humanlike SCO interface agents had an effect on opportunistic user behaviour, i.e. an individual taking unwarranted ad-vantages. Using a simulated SCO scenario, participants experienced various dilemmas in which they could financially benefit themselves undeservedly. We hypothesised that a humanlike social presence integrated within the checkout screen would receive more attention and result in fewer instances of dishonesty compared to a less humanlike agent. This was partially supported by the results. The findings contribute to the theoretical framework in social presence research. We con-cluded that companies adopting self-service technology may consider the implementation of social presence in technology applications to support ethical consumer behaviour, but that more re-search is required to explore the mixed findings in the current study.