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Mind Perception of Robots Varies With Their Economic Versus Social Function

Wang, X; Krumhuber, EG; (2018) Mind Perception of Robots Varies With Their Economic Versus Social Function. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 , Article 1230. 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01230. Green open access

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Abstract

While robots were traditionally built to achieve economic efficiency and financial profits, their roles are likely to change in the future with the aim to provide social support and companionship. In this research, we examined whether the robot’s proposed function (social vs. economic) impacts judgments of mind and moral treatment. Studies 1a and 1b demonstrated that robots with social function were perceived to possess greater ability for emotional experience, but not cognition, compared to those with economic function and whose function was not mentioned explicitly. Study 2 replicated this finding and further showed that low economic value reduced ascriptions of cognitive capacity, whereas high social value resulted in increased emotion perception. In Study 3, robots with high social value were more likely to be afforded protection from harm, and such effect was related to levels of ascribed emotional experience. Together, the findings demonstrate a dissociation between function type (social vs. economic) and ascribed mind (emotion vs. cognition). In addition, the two types of functions exert asymmetric influences on the moral treatment of robots. Theoretical and practical implications for the field of social psychology and human-computer interaction are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Mind Perception of Robots Varies With Their Economic Versus Social Function
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01230
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01230
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Wang and Krumhuber. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: robots, economic function, social function, mind perception, emotion, cognition, moral treatment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053776
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