The Interplay Between Human Likeness and Agency on Virtual Influencer Credibility

Soyeon Park, Yongjun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated how human likeness (human-like vs. avatar-like) and agency (avatar vs. agent) interact to determine source credibility and the intention to interact with virtual influencers. The results revealed that human likeness significantly influenced three types of source credibility (attractiveness, trustworthiness, and expertise) and interaction intention. However, the agency of virtual influencers did not have a significant impact. Notably, the automated virtual influencer (i.e., the agent condition) was perceived to be more attractive and trustworthy and elicited higher interaction intention than the influencer operated by a human (i.e., the avatar condition). However, this relationship was observed only in the avatar-like condition. Thus, agency moderated the indirect relationship between human likeness and interaction through attractiveness and trustworthiness. Finally, the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and ideas for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-771
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. All rights reserved.


  • agency
  • human likeness
  • interaction intention
  • source credibility
  • virtual influencer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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