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Title: Why Should We Gender?: The Effect of Robot Gendering and Occupational Stereotypes on Human Trust and Perceived Competency
The attribution of human-like characteristics onto humanoid robots has become a common practice in Human-Robot Interaction by designers and users alike. Robot gendering, the attribution of gender onto a robotic platform via voice, name, physique, or other features is a prevalent technique used to increase aspects of user acceptance of robots. One important factor relating to acceptance is user trust. As robots continue to integrate themselves into common societal roles, it will be critical to evaluate user trust in the robot's ability to perform its job. This paper examines the relationship among occupational gender-roles, user trust and gendered design features of humanoid robots. Results from the study indicate that there was no significant difference in the perception of trust in the robot's competency when considering the gender of the robot. This expands the findings found in prior efforts that suggest performance-based factors have larger influences on user trust than the robot's gender characteristics. In fact, our study suggests that perceived occupational competency is a better predictor for human trust than robot gender or participant gender. As such, gendering in robot design should be considered critically in the context of the application by designers. Such precautions would reduce the potential for robotic technologies to perpetuate societal gender stereotypes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
HRI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Page Range / eLocation ID:
13 to 21
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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