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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 31, 2019

What is in three words? Exploring a three-word methodology for assessing impressions of a social robot encounter online and in real life

  • Malene Flensborg Damholdt ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Vestergaard Christina , Anna Kryvous , Catharina Vesterager Smedegaard and Johanna Seibt


We explore the impressions and conceptualisations produced by participants after their first encounter with the teleoperated robot, Telenoid R1.

Participants were invited to freely report the first three words that came to mind after seeing the robot. Here we triangulate (i) three-word data from an online survey (n=340) where respondents saw a brief video of the Telenoid with (ii) three-word data from an interaction study where participants interacted with a physically present Telenoid (n=75) and, (iii) data from qualitative interviews (n=7) with participants who had engaged with the Telenoid. Data were subjected to sentiment analysis, linguistic analysis and regression analysis.

Ranking of the most frequently produced words in the two groups revealed an overlap on the top-10 produced words (6 out of 10 words). Sentiment analysis and regression revealed an association between negative predicates and the online condition. Sentiments were not convincingly associated with age or gender. Linguistic categorisations of the data revealed that especially adjectives expressing response-dependent features were frequent. We did not find any consistent statistical effect on categorising the words into cognitive and emotional predicates.

The proposed three-word method offers, unguided approach to explore initial conceptualisations of robots.


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Received: 2019-01-31
Accepted: 2019-11-19
Published Online: 2019-12-31

© 2019 Malene Flensborg Damholdt et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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