The impact of peoples’ personal dispositions and personalities on their trust of robots in an emergency scenario

Alessandra Rossi 1 , Kerstin Dautenhahn 1 , Kheng Lee Koay 1  and Michael L. Walters 1
  • 1 Adaptive Systems Research Group, School of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK

Abstract

Humans should be able to trust that they can safely interact with their home companion robot. However, robots can exhibit occasional mechanical, programming or functional errors. We hypothesise that the severity of the consequences and the timing of a robot’s different types of erroneous behaviours during an interaction may have different impacts on users’ attitudes towards a domestic robot. First, we investigated human users’ perceptions of the severity of various categories of potential errors that are likely to be exhibited by a domestic robot. Second, we used an interactive storyboard to evaluate participants’ degree of trust in the robot after it performed tasks either correctly, or with ‘small’ or ‘big’ errors. Finally, we analysed the correlation between participants’ responses regarding their personality, predisposition to trust other humans, their perceptions of robots, and their interaction with the robot. We conclude that there is correlation between the magnitude of an error performed by a robot and the corresponding loss of trust by the human towards the robot. Moreover we observed that some traits of participants’ personalities (conscientiousness and agreeableness) and their disposition of trusting other humans (benevolence) significantly increased their tendency to trust a robot more during an emergency scenario.

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