Chapter 21: The Media Are Social Actors paradigm and beyond: theory, evidence, and future research
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The computers are social actors paradigm was proposed about three decades ago. Recently, scholars have attempted to extend this classic theoretical framework to further enhance its explanatory and predictive power. As one of the attempts, the media are social actors (MASA) paradigm was proposed to indicate the different power of social cues in evoking users’ medium-as-social-actor presence and social responses to a range of emerging technologies, including social robots and smartphones. The MASA paradigm further included nine propositions that scholars can rely on to derive research questions. Based on these propositions, experiments and meta-analyses have been conducted to test and refine the paradigm. This chapter summarizes the findings of these studies and compares the empirical evidence with the original MASA paradigm. These findings further point to some of the future research directions on human-AI interaction.

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