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Do not fear your robot overlords: What a robot looks like does not affect how much they mislead you

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posted on 2021-11-15, 12:55 authored by Braniff, Gabriel

Would you believe what a robot tells you? A robot is essentially a high functioning computer and so, on the one hand, you should have no problem believing the information it provides. But on the other hand, what robots look like have been to shown to affect how you would feel about them. Robots that look almost—but not quite—human have been shown to elicit feelings of unease and mistrust. How much do these feelings of mistrust in turn make these humanlike robots believed less? Across two experiments, we answered that question by showing people a video of a crime and then having them read a witness statement containing misleading information. This statement was ostensibly prepared by a robot that appeared human, robotic, or a morph of the two. Contrary to our predictions, what a robot looks like did not affect how misled people were, even when we drew attention to how much people trusted their robot source. These results suggest that even though people may not like, or trust, certain robots, they will still believe what they say.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Garry, Maryanne