Branyon thesis defense

March 16, 2016

Title: Investigating Older Adults’ Trust, Causal Attributions, and Perception of Capabilities in Robots as a Function of Robot Appearance, Task, and Reliability
Committee: Dr. Richard Pak (Chair), Dr. Kelly Caine, and Dr. Patrick Rosopa
When: Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 10:30am
Where: Brackett Hall, Room 419

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which the appearance, task, and reliability of a robot is susceptible to stereotypic thinking. Stereotypes can influence the types of causal attributions that people make about the performance of others. Just as causal attributions may affect an individual’s perception of other people, it may similarly affect perceptions of technology. Stereotypes can also influence perceived capabilities of others. That is, in situations where stereotypes are activated, an individual’s perceived capabilities are typically diminished. The tendency to adjust perceptions of capabilities of others may translate into levels of trust placed in the individual’s abilities. A cross-sectional factorial survey using video vignettes was used to assess young adults’ and older adults’ attitudes toward a robot’s behavior and appearance. Trust and capability ratings of the robot were affected by participant age, reliability, and domain. Patterns of causal reasoning within the human-robot interaction (HRI) context differed from causal reasoning patterns found in human-human interaction.

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