Research on Human-Technology Interactions revealed that, under certain conditions, people instinctively interact with social robots in ways comparable to Human-Human Interactions. Indeed, people apply social perception schemas and attribute a mind to social robots, especially when they present anthropomorphic characteristics. Furthermore, under certain conditions, anthropomorphic social robots are awarded with moral consideration and participate to moral dyads. Thus, anthropomorphism facilitates social robots integration in people's lives. However, what is still unknown is whether adopting social schemas with social robots, in turn, affects how individuals perceive and interact with other people. To fill this gap, we experimentally investigated whether the type of mind attributed to anthropomorphic social robot, then, complementary influences the empathy towards a person in trouble. Participants (n = 269) interacted (vs. did not interact) through a chatbot with a highly (vs. lowly) anthropomorphic social robot, evaluated it on mind dimensions and, finally, expressed their empathy towards a person. Results demonstrated that anthropomorphism fosters the attribution of agency (anthropomorphic appearance and interaction through chatbot) and experience (anthropomorphic appearance only), which, in turn, significantly, but in opposite directions, affected empathy towards the social target. Im-plications and future research directions are outlined.

New dyads? The effect of social robots' anthropomorphization on empathy towards human beings

Spaccatini, F
;
2023

Abstract

Research on Human-Technology Interactions revealed that, under certain conditions, people instinctively interact with social robots in ways comparable to Human-Human Interactions. Indeed, people apply social perception schemas and attribute a mind to social robots, especially when they present anthropomorphic characteristics. Furthermore, under certain conditions, anthropomorphic social robots are awarded with moral consideration and participate to moral dyads. Thus, anthropomorphism facilitates social robots integration in people's lives. However, what is still unknown is whether adopting social schemas with social robots, in turn, affects how individuals perceive and interact with other people. To fill this gap, we experimentally investigated whether the type of mind attributed to anthropomorphic social robot, then, complementary influences the empathy towards a person in trouble. Participants (n = 269) interacted (vs. did not interact) through a chatbot with a highly (vs. lowly) anthropomorphic social robot, evaluated it on mind dimensions and, finally, expressed their empathy towards a person. Results demonstrated that anthropomorphism fosters the attribution of agency (anthropomorphic appearance and interaction through chatbot) and experience (anthropomorphic appearance only), which, in turn, significantly, but in opposite directions, affected empathy towards the social target. Im-plications and future research directions are outlined.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1554333
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