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Can Robots Manifest Personality?: An Empirical Test of Personality Recognition, Social Responses, and Social Presence in Human–Robot Interaction

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Personality is an essential feature for creating socially interactive robots. Studies on this dimension will facilitate enhanced human–robot interaction (HRI). Using AIBO, a social robotic pet developed by Sony, we examined the issue of personality in HRI. In this gender-balanced 2 (AIBO personality: introvert vs. extrovert) by 2 (participant personality: introvert vs. extrovert) between-subject experiment (N = 48), we found that participants could accurately recognize a robot’s personality based on its verbal and nonverbal behaviors. In addition, various complementarity attraction effects were found in HRI. Participants enjoyed interacting with a robot more when the robot’s personality was complementary to their own personalities than when the robot’s personality was similar to their own personalities. The same complementarity attraction effect was found in participants’ evaluation of the robot’s intelligence and social attraction. Participants’ feelings of social presence during the interaction were a significant mediator for the complementarity attraction effects observed. Practical and theoretical implications of the current study for the design of social robots and the study of HRI were discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 2: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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