Valence Free Racialization In HRI

Host Faculty: Science
General Subject Area: Psychology
Project Level: PhD
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robotics 2

Robots are being perceived to have a race and this this changes the behaviour of people towards them (Addison, Yogeeswaran, & Bartneck, 2019; Bartneck et al., 2018). In our previous work we used the shooter bias methodology to test this change in behaviour which implies the negative behaviour of shooting at a person or robot. Robots racialized as Black where treated differently than robots being racialized as White. The experiment showed a clear shooter bias towards Black robots, similar to that exhibited to Black humans.

While this methodology has been widely used, it does associate race to a violent act. In this study we want to explore the use of other implicit association tests (IAT) for the perception of robots’ race. This may include the analysis of computer mouse movements when selecting images. The advantage would be that the task that the participants need to do is not inherently negative. This may impact the racial bias that participants show towards humans and robot. This study will consist of at least one empirical experiment in which a valence free IAT is used to test racial biases towards humans and robots.


Supervisor: Christoph Bartneck

Key qualifications and skills

Psychology, Sociology

Does the project come with funding

No - the student must be self-funded

Final date for receiving applications



ethics, racism, robots