Researchers from Penn State found that customization and perceived similarity between users and voice assistants (VAs) affect user experience. They discovered that users prefer extroverted VAs and are more resistant to misinformation if the VA’s personality is similar to their own. This was especially evident in the case of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. The researchers randomly assigned 401 participants to study personality similarity and customization in virtual assistants, finding that customization leads to more positive interactions, especially for those who view the VA as similar to them. The study also revealed that automated matching of user and VA voice profiles encouraged trust. The researchers suggested that combining personalization and customization features could create better user experiences. This study suggests that when users interact with a VA similar to their personality, they think more highly of the service provided and should process information more carefully. The study is published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and shows the potential for using automated customization to improve user satisfaction.


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