alexa Social categorization of social robots: anthropomorphism as a function of robot group membership.



Author(s): Eyssel F, Kuchenbrandt D, Eyssel F, Kuchenbrandt D

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Abstract Previous work on social categorization has shown that people often use cues such as a person's gender, age, or ethnicity to categorize and form impressions of others. The present research investigated effects of social category membership on the evaluation of humanoid robots. More specifically, participants rated a humanoid robot that either belonged to their in-group or to a national out-group with regard to anthropomorphism (e.g., mind attribution, warmth), psychological closeness, contact intentions, and design. We predicted that participants would show an in-group bias towards the robot that ostensibly belonged to their in-group--as indicated by its name and location of production. In line with our hypotheses, participants not only rated the in-group robot more favourably--importantly, they also anthropomorphized it more strongly than the out-group robot. Our findings thus document that people even apply social categorization processes and subsequent differential social evaluations to robots. ©2011 The British Psychological Society. This article was published in Br J Soc Psychol and referenced in Lovotics

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