Children trust robots more

An unpublished study in this regard confirms it. Children trust robots more than humans. They are also more tolerant towards them. Even when they are told that they are wrong just like people. The results of the study could have an implication in the field of education.

Children absorb an enormous amount of new information. They do this as they learn about the world. They discover how to filter reality from fiction. The researchers of this new study wanted to see how information was received from different sources.

Children trust robots more than humans, according to a study.
Children trust robots more than humans, according to a study.

Preferring robots

111 children between 3 and 6 years old participated in the study. It was revealed that the little ones showed a preference for believing the robots more and being more tolerant when they made mistakes.

“The question is: how do children choose who to learn from when faced with conflicting testimony?” This is what the researchers write in the published article. The children were divided into several groups. They were shown videos of robots and humans labeling objects, some of which they already recognized and others that were new to them and they didn’t know the name. The reliability of humans and robots was tested by giving incorrect names to familiar objects. For example, calling a plate a spoon.

In this way, the researchers could manipulate the children’s sense of trust. Humans and robots were equally reliable. But children were more willing to ask the robots the names of new objects and rate their answers as accurate. Children were more inclined toward robots in other ways. For example, sharing secrets, choosing their friends and who they would like to have as teachers.

These findings would be very useful in the field of education.
These findings would be very useful in the field of education.

Outstanding questions

One of the fields in which this research could be useful is education. Above all, in a world where children are increasingly surrounded by technology.

The researchers did not ask why children trust robots more than humans. Video interactions may not always accurately reflect real-world interactions. A study including live interactions is needed to confirm the results.

“What exactly it is about the robot that makes it preferable remains an open question,” the researchers conclude. The research is published in Computers in Human Behavior.

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