Does Japan really have robot mania? Comparing attitudes by implicit and explicit measures

Authors: MacDorman, Karl1; Vasudevan, Sandosh2; Ho, Chin-Chang3

Source: AI & SOCIETY, Volume 23, Number 4, July 2009 , pp. 485-510(26)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

Japan has more robots than any other country with robots contributing to many areas of society, including manufacturing, healthcare, and entertainment. However, few studies have examined Japanese attitudes toward robots, and none has used implicit measures. This study compares attitudes among the faculty of a US and a Japanese university. Although the Japanese faculty reported many more experiences with robots, implicit measures indicated both faculties had more pleasant associations with humans. In addition, although the US faculty reported people were more threatening than robots, implicit measures indicated both faculties associated weapons more strongly with robots than with humans. Despite the media’s hype about Japan’s robot ‘craze,’ response similarities suggest factors other than attitude better explain robot adoption. These include differences in history and religion, personal and human identity, economic structure, professional specialization, and government policy. Japanese robotics offers a unique reference from which other nations may learn.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00146-008-0181-2

Affiliations: 1: School of Informatics, Indiana University, 535 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA 2: School of Informatics, Indiana University, 535 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA, Email: sanvasud@iupui.edu 3: School of Informatics, Indiana University, 535 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA, Email: ho2@iupui.edu

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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