With the rapid rise in robot presence in a variety of life domains, understanding how robots influence people's emotions during human-robot interactions is important for ensuring their acceptance in society. Mental health care, in particular, is considered the field in which robotics technology will bring the most dramatic changes in the near future. In this context, the present study sought to determine whether a brief cognitive assessment conducted by a robot elicited different interaction-related emotional processes than a traditional assessment conducted by an expert clinician. A non-clinical sample of 29 young adults (17 females; M = 24.5, SD = 2.3 years) were asked to complete two cognitive tasks twice, in counterbalanced order, once administered by an expert clinician and once by an autonomous humanoid robot. Self-reported measures of affective states and assessment of physiological arousal did not reveal any difference in emotional processes between human-human and human-robot interactions. Similarly, cognitive performances and workload did not differ across conditions. Analysis of non-verbal behaviour, however, showed that participants spent more time looking at the robot (d = 1.3) and made fewer gaze aversions (d = 1.3) in interacting with the robot than with the human examiner. We argue that, far from being a trivial ‘cosmetic change’, using a social robot in place of traditional testing could be a potential way to open up the development of a new generation of tests for brief cognitive assessment.

Emotional processes in human-robot interaction during brief cognitive testing

Desideri, Lorenzo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Ottaviani, Cristina
Methodology
;
Malavasi, Massimiliano;Bonifacci, Paola
2019

Abstract

With the rapid rise in robot presence in a variety of life domains, understanding how robots influence people's emotions during human-robot interactions is important for ensuring their acceptance in society. Mental health care, in particular, is considered the field in which robotics technology will bring the most dramatic changes in the near future. In this context, the present study sought to determine whether a brief cognitive assessment conducted by a robot elicited different interaction-related emotional processes than a traditional assessment conducted by an expert clinician. A non-clinical sample of 29 young adults (17 females; M = 24.5, SD = 2.3 years) were asked to complete two cognitive tasks twice, in counterbalanced order, once administered by an expert clinician and once by an autonomous humanoid robot. Self-reported measures of affective states and assessment of physiological arousal did not reveal any difference in emotional processes between human-human and human-robot interactions. Similarly, cognitive performances and workload did not differ across conditions. Analysis of non-verbal behaviour, however, showed that participants spent more time looking at the robot (d = 1.3) and made fewer gaze aversions (d = 1.3) in interacting with the robot than with the human examiner. We argue that, far from being a trivial ‘cosmetic change’, using a social robot in place of traditional testing could be a potential way to open up the development of a new generation of tests for brief cognitive assessment.
Desideri, Lorenzo; Ottaviani, Cristina; Malavasi, Massimiliano; di Marzio, Roberto; Bonifacci, Paola
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/677718
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