“My robot friend”: Application of intergroup contact theory in human-robot interaction

Date
2022-09-29
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ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
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Pages
665 - 668
Language
English
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Abstract

We present pilot data for one of the first comprehensive investigations of Intergroup Contact Theory [1], [2] in the context of human-robot interaction. Applying an actual intergroup contact procedure known to affect intergroup attitudes among humans (e.g., [3]), we examined whether human-robot interaction as a positive intergroup contact would change participants' evaluation of robots. Our data from 28 student participants ( N=15 in the interaction condition and N=13 in the no-interaction condition) suggest that after the participant and robot self-disclosed to each other (Fast Friendship Task), participants (1) felt more positive emotions towards robots, (2) perceived robots as warmer, and (3) identified robots as more similar to humans. These preliminary findings invite further research on the application of Intergroup Contact Theory in examining social human-robot interaction and its possible contributions to understanding human psychology.

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