Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers use robot to determine how human strangers develop trust

Date:
July 10, 2010
Source:
Northeastern University
Summary:
What can a wide-eyed, talking robot teach us about trust? A lot, according to psychology professors who are conducting innovative research to determine how humans decide to trust strangers -- and if those decisions are accurate.

David DeSteno and MIT's Jin Joo Lee worked with Nexi the robot on the research project.
Credit: Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

What can a wide-eyed, talking robot teach us about trust?

Related Articles


A lot, according to Northeastern psychology professor David DeSteno, and his colleagues, who are conducting innovative research to determine how humans decide to trust strangers -- and if those decisions are accurate.

The interdisciplinary research project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is being conducted in collaboration with Cynthia Breazeal, director of the MIT Media Lab's Personal Robots Group, Robert Frank, an economist, and David Pizarro, a psychologist, both from Cornell.

The researchers are examining whether nonverbal cues and gestures could affect our trustworthiness judgments. "People tend to mimic each other's body language," said DeSteno, "which might help them develop intuitions about what other people are feeling -- intuitions about whether they'll treat them fairly."

This project tests their theories by having humans interact with the social robot, Nexi, in an attempt to judge her trustworthiness. Unbeknownst to participants, Nexi has been programmed to make gestures while speaking with selected participants -- gestures that the team hypothesizes could determine whether or not she's deemed trustworthy.

"Using a humanoid robot whose every expression and gesture we can control will allow us to better identify the exact cues and psychological processes that underlie humans' ability to accurately predict if a stranger is trustworthy," said DeSteno.

During the first part of the experiment, Nexi makes small talk with her human counterpart for 10 minutes, asking and answering questions about topics such as traveling, where they are from and what they like most about living in Boston.

"The goal was to simulate a normal conversation with accompanying movements to see what the mind would intuitively glean about the trustworthiness of another," said DeSteno.

The participants then play an economic game called "Give Some," which asks them to determine how much money Nexi might give them at the expense of her individual profit. Simultaneously, they decide how much, if any, they'll give to Nexi. The rules of the game allow for two distinct outcomes: higher individual profit for one and loss for the other, or relatively smaller and equal profits for both partners.

"Trust might not be determined by one isolated gesture, but rather a 'dance' that happens between the strangers, which leads them to trust or not trust the other," said DeSteno, who, with his colleagues, will continue testing their theories by seeing if Nexi can be taught to predict the trustworthiness of human partners.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northeastern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northeastern University. "Researchers use robot to determine how human strangers develop trust." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707220933.htm>.
Northeastern University. (2010, July 10). Researchers use robot to determine how human strangers develop trust. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707220933.htm
Northeastern University. "Researchers use robot to determine how human strangers develop trust." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707220933.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) A holodeck is no longer the preserve of TV sci-fi classic Star Trek, thanks to researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, who have created what they say is the first system in the world to visualise the 3D data of forensic scans. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) Hewlett-Packard is boosting its mobile computing business... buying California-based Aruba Networks- a wi-fi network gear maker for $24.67 per share. Leah Duncan reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) South Korea&apos;s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy S smartphones, featuring a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of undisputed global smartphone leader from Apple Inc. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins