Purpose: This article explores how anthropomorphized service robots shape consumer risk perceptions and risk behavior via uncanniness as a function of individual differences in banking.
Methodology: An online between-subjects experiment (N = 293), set in a fictitious bank, featuring four levels of service robot anthropomorphism (low, medium, high, human), measured risk perceptions (psychological, functional, privacy, time), and risk behavior as DVs, uncanniness as mediator, technology readiness, and behavioral inhibition as moderators.
Findings: Risk perceptions are the lowest for medium (vs. high) anthropomorphism and are mediated by uncanniness. Risk behavior remains unaffected by the manipulation. Technology readiness overall attenuates the main effect on time risk perception but amplifies it for high anthropomorphism, whereas high behavioral inhibition increases risk behavior under the exposure of low anthropomorphism.
Implication: Banks who plan to place robots in service functions should be mostly concerned about experiential rather than behavioral consequences and are advised to use medium anthropomorphism robots since they appear to qualify as viable substitutes for human bank tellers.
Value: We contribute to the service robot and anthropomorphism literature by (1) distinguishing between dimensions of risk perceptions, (2) measuring actual risk behavior, and (3) setting our study in a business and marketing relevant context: banking.