Social robots – creatures designed to interact and communicate with people - are expected to enter our society at large in the next future. These robots can vary in terms of capacities and appearance — from virtual to very humanlike. In the present talk I will focus on fears toward the entering of social robots in the society at large and investigate the role of robots anthropomorphic appearance (i.e. resemblance to human body) in these reactions. Specifically, I suggest that social robots, because they are designed to resemble human beings, might threaten the distinctiveness of the human category. I will then present four studies testing this threat to distinctiveness account. The first two studies show that too much resemblance between social robots and humans triggers concerns because similarity blurs the boundaries between humans and machines and this is perceived as damaging human’s group identity. Then I will turn to the cognitive underpinnings of this threat to distinctiveness and present two studies showing that robots that are most threatening are also those that arise stronger conflict in categorization.
Lunedì 22 gennaio 2018, ore 12.00
Sala Lauree del Dipartimento di Psicologia, U6 (3° piano)
Tutti gli interessati sono invitati a partecipare.
Dott. Paolo Riva