Prompting Prosocial Human Interventions in Response to Robot Mistreatment

Author(s): Connolly, J., Mocz, V., Salomons, N., Valdez, J., Tsoi, N., Scassellati, B., and Vázquez, M.Venue: Proc. of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI).Publication Date: Mar 23, 2020 Abstract: Inspired by the benefits of human prosocial behavior, we explore whether prosocial behavior can be extended to a Human-Robot In- teraction (HRI) context. More specifically, we study whether robots can induce prosocial behavior in humans through a 1x2 between- subjects user study (N = 30) in which a confederate abused a robot. Through this study, we investigated whether the emotional reactions of a group of bystander robots could motivate a human to intervene in response to robot abuse. Our results show that participants were more likely to prosocially intervene when the bystander robots expressed sadness in response to the abuse as opposed to when they ignored these events, despite participants reporting similar perception of robot mistreatment and levels of empathy for the abused robot. Our findings demonstrate possible effects of group social influence through emotional cues by robots in human-robot interaction. They reveal a need for further research regarding human prosocial behavior within HRI.Download paper