Robot authority and human obedience: A study of human behaviour using a robot security guard

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2017, pp. 57 - 58
Issue Date:
2017-03-06
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© 2017 Authors. There has been much debate, sci-fi movie scenes, and several scientific studies exploring the concept of robot authority. Some of the key research questions include: when should humans follow/question robot instructions; how can a robot increase its ability to convince humans to follow their instructions or to change their behaviour. In this paper, we describe a recent experiment designed to explore the notions of robot authority and human obedience. We set up a robot in a publicly accessible building to act as a security guard that issued instructions to specific humans. We identified and analysed the factors that affected a human's decisions to follow the robot's instruction. The four key factors were: perceived aggression, responsiveness, anthropomorphism, level of safety and intelligence in the robot's behaviour. We implemented various social cues to exhibit and convey authority and aggressiveness in the robot's behaviour. The results suggest that the degree of aggression that different people perceived in the robot's behaviour did not have a significant impact in their decision to follow the robot's instruction. Although, the people who disobeyed the robot, perceived the robot's behaviour to be more unsafe and less human-like than the people who followed the robot's instructions and also found the robot to be more responsive.
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