Effects of gender congruity in human-robot service interactions: The moderating role of masculinity

Valentina Pitardi, Boris Bartikowski*, Victoria Sophie Osburg, Vignesh Yoganathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite humanoid service robots having attracted considerable research attention, it remains unclear how consumers respond to some specific human characteristics of robots. Drawing from theories on social categorization and identification, we study the role of consumer perceived control as a psychological mechanism to explain how human-robot gender congruity alters consumers’ affective reactions (feelings of comfort in the service encounter and service brand attitudes). We also consider that such gender congruity effects may be contingent on the individual cultural value of masculinity. We demonstrate experimentally that human-robot gender congruity (vs. incongruity) elicits more positive affect, while masculinity moderates some of these effects. Moreover, perceived control mediates effects of gender congruity on affective reactions only for consumers high on masculinity. We offer three major theoretical contributions as we 1) focus on social identity theory to shed light on how human-robot gender congruity affects consumer behavior in service encounters, 2) demonstrate the role of perceptions of control as a psychological process variable to explain these effects, and 3) provide insights into the role of the cultural value of masculinity as a factor that shapes human-robot gender congruity effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102489
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Early online date2 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Culture
  • Gender congruity
  • Masculinity
  • Perceived control
  • Service robots
  • Social identity theory


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