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Coding Manual for the "Robovie, You Need to Go into the Closet Now!" Study

By Peter H. Jr Kahn, Takayuki Kanda, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Jolina H. Ruckert, Rachel L. Seversen, Nathan G. Freier, Brian T. Gill, Shaun K. Kane, Predrag Klasnja and Aimee L. Reichert


As robotic technologies become evermore present in the lives of children, how will children understand and treat robots? Toward addressing this question, 90 children and adolescents (9, 12, & 15 years old) each engaged in a 15- minute social interaction with a humanoid robot, Robovie. Toward the end of the interaction, Robovie was the target of a potential moral violation: an experimenter interrupted Robovie’s turn in a game and, against Robovie’s stated objections, put Robovie into a closet. Following the interaction, each participant was engaged in a 50-minute interview that ascertained their judgments of Robovie as a social and moral other. Briefly, results indicated that the large majority of children engaged in nuanced social behavior with Robovie. In addition, the majority of children reasoned about Robovie as a social other (e.g., that Robovie could be their friend and they would trust Robovie with their secrets), and in some ways as a moral other (e.g., that it was not all right to have put Robovie into the closet). This technical report provides the coding manual used to systematically code each participant’s behavioral interactions with and reasoning about Robovie. By a coding manual we mean a philosophically and empirically grounded means for coding social-cognitive data. Our goal is to present this manual such that, as part of an ongoing iterative scientific process, it can be used and modified by others interested in investigating people’s social and moral relationships with robots.

Topics: technical report, humanoid robot, coding manual
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1037/a0027033
OAI identifier:
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