“We vs. Them: Rejection by a Non-human Agent Makes People United” by TaeWoo Kim and Adam Duhachek
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is exerting increasing role in evaluating humans in various context such as loan approval decisions, hiring decisions and legal decisions. Drawing on self-construal theory positing three levels of identity (i.e., individual identity, social identity, human identity), the current research hypothesizes that being rejected by an A.I. (vs. a human) would make a rejected consumer’s human identity more salient, thus leading to reduced perceived self-other distance. In support of this hypothesis, we found that being rejected by an A.I. (e.g., rejected by an A.I. in a job application) increases empathy and perspective ns tendencies of the rejected consumer. These results show that that rejection by an A.I. may increase perceptions of closeness between the self and others because rejection makes rejected consumer’s human identity salient and induces a mindset that tends to embrace others.