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Study Finds Children Likely To Get More Influenced By Robots Then Adults

Study Finds Children Likely To Get More Influenced By Robots Then Adults
There is a greater likelihood of children being influenced to a greater extent compared to adults by robots, claimed a recent study that was published in the journal Science Robotics.
The study that was conducted by researchers from the University of Plymouth essentially struck a comparison of the response between children and adults when they were subjected to completing an identical task while there was presence of both human coworkers and humanoid robots.
The examination revealed that while peers and human intervention regularly influenced the opinions of the adults, they were much less influenced by robots and were much less persuaded in doing the task by the humanoid robots. On the other hand, the researchers found that there was a greater tendency among the children - aged between seven and nine years, participating in the study of making the same responses to the task as shown by the robots even when such responses were completely incorrect.
The Asch paradigm was used by the researchers in the study. This concept was first developed in the 1950s. according to this concept, people are asked to look at a screen that depicts four lines and were asked to decide which two lines among the four were similar in length.
The concept finally concluded that while the participants were left alone to make the decision, they always made the right decision. But while the same experiment was done with others, the same individuals tend to get influenced in their decision making by what the peers were saying or discussing.
The most recent study found that children managed to achieve a score of 87 per cent in the test when they were alone in the room. But the same children managed to score just 75 per cent when there were humanoid robots joining them in the test.
The study also concluded that 74 per cent of the wrong answers given by the children were also similar to the wrong answers given by the robot.
"Adults do not conform to what the robots are saying. But when we did the experiment with children, they did. It shows children can perhaps have more of an affinity with robots than adults, which does pose the question: what if robots were to suggest, for example, what products to buy or what to think?" said the study leader Tony Belpaeme, professor in robotics from the University of Plymouth and Ghent University

Christopher J. Mitchell

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