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