Human-Robot-Relationships: From empathetic reactions to social relationships?

The spreading distribution of robots in our daily life makes it necessary to analyze and discuss how robot technology influences human behavior. The presentation will focus on two topics: basic research with regard to emotional reactions towards robots and the analysis of unique field data involving a robot in the user´s home. With regard to emotions it has to be analyzed whether people get emotionally attached to robots and whether they show emotional reactions depending on what happens to the robot. We conducted two studies to investigate whether people react empathetically towards robots. In the first study participants saw videos with a robot been treated in an affectionate or violent manner. Half of the participants had the possibility to interact with the robot beforehand. We were interested whether previous interaction influences feelings of empathy with the maltreated robot. In a follow up fMRI study subjects were presented videos showing a human, a robot and an unanimated object, again being treated in either an affectionate or violent manner.
Within the SERA project (Social Engagement with Robots and Agents) we had the unique possibility to collect real life data of people interacting with a robot in their homes. In sum six participants took part in three iterations each with 10 days of interaction. The resulting videos were annotated with regard to verbal and nonverbal behavior. Furthermore, the project partners conducted post-trial interviews and qualitative analyses of the videos.



Frau M.Sc. Astrid von der Pütten
Universität Duisburg-Essen Abteilung Sozialpsychologie:
Medien und Kommunikation


Montag, 30. Mai 2011, 16:15h


Universität Ulm, N27, Raum 2.033 (Videoübertragung zur Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg)