Too much, too little, or just right? Ways explanations impact end users' mental models

Kulesza, T., Stumpf, S., Burnett, M., Yang, S., Kwan, I. & Wong, W-K (2013). Too much, too little, or just right? Ways explanations impact end users' mental models. Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC, pp. 3-10. doi: 10.1109/VLHCC.2013.6645235

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Abstract

Research is emerging on how end users can correct mistakes their intelligent agents make, but before users can correctly "debug" an intelligent agent, they need some degree of understanding of how it works. In this paper we consider ways intelligent agents should explain themselves to end users, especially focusing on how the soundness and completeness of the explanations impacts the fidelity of end users' mental models. Our findings suggest that completeness is more important than soundness: increasing completeness via certain information types helped participants' mental models and, surprisingly, their perception of the cost/benefit tradeoff of attending to the explanations. We also found that oversimplification, as per many commercial agents, can be a problem: when soundness was very low, participants experienced more mental demand and lost trust in the explanations, thereby reducing the likelihood that users will pay attention to such explanations at all.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental models; explanations; end-user debugging; recommender systems; intelligent agents
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: School of Informatics > Department of Computing
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/6344

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