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Social cognition and robotics
Social cognition and robotics
In our social world we continuously display nonverbal behavior during interaction. Particularly, when meeting for the first time we use these implicit signals to form judgments about each other, which is a cornerstone of cooperation and societal cohesion. The aim of the studies presented here was to examine which gaze patterns as well as other types of nonverbal signals, such as facial expressions, gestures and kinesics are presented during interaction, which signals are preferred, and which signals we base our social judgment on. Furthermore, it was investigated whether cultural context, of German or Japanese culture, influences these interaction and decision making patterns. One part of the following dissertation concerned itself mainly with gaze behavior as it is one of the most important tools humans use to function in the natural world. It allows monitoring the environment as well as signalling towards others. Thus, measuring whether attentional resources are captured by examining potential gaze following in reaction to pointing gestures and gaze shifts of an interaction partner was one of the goals of this dissertation. However, also intercultural differences in gaze reaction towards direct gaze during various types of interaction were examined. For that purpose, a real-world dyadic interaction scenario in combination with a mobile eyetracker was used. Evidence of gaze patterns suggested that independent of culture interactants seem to mostly ignore irrelevant directional cues and instead remain focused on the face of a conversation partner, at least while listening to said partner. This was a pattern also repeated when no displays of directional signals were performed. While speaking, on the other hand, interactants from Japan seem to change their behaviour, in contrast to interactants from Germany, as they avert their gaze away from the face, which may be attributed to cultural norms. As correct assessment of another person is a critical skill for humans to possess the second part of the presented dissertation investigated on which basis humans make these social decisions. Specifically, nonverbal signals of trustworthiness and potential cooperativeness in Germany and in Japan were of interest. Thus, in one study a mobile eyetracker was used to investigate intercultural differences in gaze patterns during the social judgment process of a small number of sequentially presented potential cooperation partner. In another study participants viewed video stimuli of faces, bodies and faces + bodies of potential cooperation partner to examine the basis of social decision making in more detail and also to explore a wider variety of nonverbal behaviours in a more controlled manner. Results indicated that while judging presenters on trustworthiness based on displayed nonverbal cues German participants seem to partly look away from the face and examine the body. This is behavior in contrast to Japanese participants who seem to remain fixated mostly on the face. Furthermore, it was shown that body motion may be of particular importance for social judgment and that body motion of one’s own culture as opposed to a different culture seems to be preferred. Lastly, nonverbal signals as a basis of decision making were explored in more detail by examining the preferred interaction partner’s behaviour presented as video stimuli. In recent years and presumably also in the future, the human social environment has been growing to include new types of interactants, such as robots. To therefore ensure a smooth interaction, robots need to be adjusted according to human social expectation, including their nonverbal behavior. That is one of the reasons why all results presented here were not only put in the context of human interaction and judgment, but also viewed in the context of human-robot interaction.
Social Cognition, Eyetracking, Interaction, Trustworthiness, Social Robotics
Kajopoulos, Jasmin Isabella
2019
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Kajopoulos, Jasmin Isabella (2019): Social cognition and robotics. Dissertation, LMU München: Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN)
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Abstract

In our social world we continuously display nonverbal behavior during interaction. Particularly, when meeting for the first time we use these implicit signals to form judgments about each other, which is a cornerstone of cooperation and societal cohesion. The aim of the studies presented here was to examine which gaze patterns as well as other types of nonverbal signals, such as facial expressions, gestures and kinesics are presented during interaction, which signals are preferred, and which signals we base our social judgment on. Furthermore, it was investigated whether cultural context, of German or Japanese culture, influences these interaction and decision making patterns. One part of the following dissertation concerned itself mainly with gaze behavior as it is one of the most important tools humans use to function in the natural world. It allows monitoring the environment as well as signalling towards others. Thus, measuring whether attentional resources are captured by examining potential gaze following in reaction to pointing gestures and gaze shifts of an interaction partner was one of the goals of this dissertation. However, also intercultural differences in gaze reaction towards direct gaze during various types of interaction were examined. For that purpose, a real-world dyadic interaction scenario in combination with a mobile eyetracker was used. Evidence of gaze patterns suggested that independent of culture interactants seem to mostly ignore irrelevant directional cues and instead remain focused on the face of a conversation partner, at least while listening to said partner. This was a pattern also repeated when no displays of directional signals were performed. While speaking, on the other hand, interactants from Japan seem to change their behaviour, in contrast to interactants from Germany, as they avert their gaze away from the face, which may be attributed to cultural norms. As correct assessment of another person is a critical skill for humans to possess the second part of the presented dissertation investigated on which basis humans make these social decisions. Specifically, nonverbal signals of trustworthiness and potential cooperativeness in Germany and in Japan were of interest. Thus, in one study a mobile eyetracker was used to investigate intercultural differences in gaze patterns during the social judgment process of a small number of sequentially presented potential cooperation partner. In another study participants viewed video stimuli of faces, bodies and faces + bodies of potential cooperation partner to examine the basis of social decision making in more detail and also to explore a wider variety of nonverbal behaviours in a more controlled manner. Results indicated that while judging presenters on trustworthiness based on displayed nonverbal cues German participants seem to partly look away from the face and examine the body. This is behavior in contrast to Japanese participants who seem to remain fixated mostly on the face. Furthermore, it was shown that body motion may be of particular importance for social judgment and that body motion of one’s own culture as opposed to a different culture seems to be preferred. Lastly, nonverbal signals as a basis of decision making were explored in more detail by examining the preferred interaction partner’s behaviour presented as video stimuli. In recent years and presumably also in the future, the human social environment has been growing to include new types of interactants, such as robots. To therefore ensure a smooth interaction, robots need to be adjusted according to human social expectation, including their nonverbal behavior. That is one of the reasons why all results presented here were not only put in the context of human interaction and judgment, but also viewed in the context of human-robot interaction.