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Anthropomorphizing Robots: The Effect of Framing in Human-Robot Collaboration

Onnasch, Linda; Roesler, Eileen

Anthropomorphic framing of social robots is widely believed to facilitate human-robot interaction. In two subsequent studies, the impact of anthropomorphic framing was examined regarding the subjective perception of a robot and the willingness to donate money for this robot. In both experiments, participants received either an anthropomorphic or a functional description of a humanoid NAO robot prior to a cooperative task. Afterwards the perceived robot’s humanlike perception and the willingness to “save” the robot from malfunctioning were assessed (donation behavior). Surprisingly, the first study revealed a negative effect of anthropomorphic framing on the willingness to donate. This negative effect disappeared if the robot’s functional value for the task fulfillment was additionally made explicit (Study 2). In both studies, no effect of anthropomorphic framing on the humanlike perception of the robot was found. However, the behavioral results support the relevance of a functional awareness in social human-robot interaction.
Published in: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, Sage Publications
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