A non-humanoid robot in the "uncanny valley": Experimental analysis of the reaction to behavioral contingency in 2-3 year old children

Kentaro Yamamoto, Saori Tanaka, Hiromi Kobayashi, Hideki Kozima, Kazuhide Hashiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infants' sensitivity to social or behavioral contingency has been examined in the field of developmental psychology and behavioral sciences, mainly using a double video paradigm or a still face paradigm. These studies have shown that infants distinguish other individuals' contingent behaviors from non-contingent ones. The present experiment systematically examined if this ability extends to the detection of non-humanoids' contingent actions in a communicative context. We examined two- to three-year-olds' understanding of contingent actions produced by a non-humanoid robot. The robot either responded contingently to the actions of the participants (contingent condition) or programmatically reproduced the same sequence of actions to another participant (non-contingent condition). The results revealed that the participants exhibited different patterns of response depending on whether or not the robot responded contingently. It was also found that the participants did not respond positively to the contingent actions of the robot in the earlier periods of the experimental sessions. This might reflect the conflict between the non-humanlike appearance of the robot and its humanlike contingent actions, which presumably led the children to experience the uncanny valley effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6974
JournalPloS one
Volume4
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 16 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A non-humanoid robot in the "uncanny valley": Experimental analysis of the reaction to behavioral contingency in 2-3 year old children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this