I, Robot: How human appearance and mind attribution relate to the perceived danger of robots
Number of pages
SourceInternational Journal of Social Robotics, 13, 4, (2021), pp. 691-701
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI CW
Communicatie- en informatiewetenschappen
International Journal of Social Robotics
SubjectCommunication and Media; Language & Communication
Social robots become increasingly human-like in appearance and behaviour. However, a large body of research shows that these robots tend to elicit negative feelings of eeriness, danger, and threat. In the present study, we explored whether and how human-like appearance and mind-attribution contribute to these negative feelings and clarified possible underlying mechanisms. Participants were presented with pictures of mechanical, humanoid, and android robots, and physical anthropomorphism (Studies 1-3), attribution of mind perception of agency and experience (Studies 2 and 3), threat to human–machine distinctiveness, and damage to humans and their identity were assessed for all three robot types. Replicating earlier research, human-machine distinctiveness mediated the influence of anthropomorphic appearance on the perceived damage for humans and their identity, and this mediation was due to anthropomorphic appearance of the robot. Perceived agency and experience did not show similar mediating effects on human–machine distinctiveness, but a positive relation with perceived damage for humans and their identity. Possible explanations are discussed.
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