Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Experimental Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jason Popan

Second Advisor

Dr. Megan K. Strait

Third Advisor

Dr. Po-Yi Chen


With the deployment of robots in public realms, researchers are seeing more cases of abusive disinhibition towards robots. Because robots embody gendered identities, poor navigation of antisocial dynamics may reinforce or exacerbate gender-based marginalization. Consequently, it is essential for robots to recognize and effectively head off abuse.

Given extensions of gendered biases to robotic agents, as well as associations between an agent's human likeness and the experiential capacity attributed to it, we quasi-manipulated the victim's humanness (human vs. robot) and gendering (via the inclusion of stereotypically masculine vs. feminine cues in their presentation) across four video-recorded reproductions of the interaction.

Analysis from 422 participants, each of whom watched one of the four videos, indicates that intensity of emotional distress felt by an observer is associated with their gender identification and support for social stratification, along with the victim's gendering—further underscoring the criticality of robots' social intelligence.


Copyright 2021 Hideki Garcia Goo. All Rights Reserved.

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