Investigating the effect of relative cultural distance on the acceptance of robots

G. Trovato, J.R.C. Ham, K. Hashimoto, H. Ishii, A. Takanishi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


A complex relationship exists between people’s cultural background and their general acceptance towards robots. Previous studies supported the idea that humans may accept more easily a robot that can adapt to their specific culture. However, it is not clear whether between two robots which are identified as foreign robots because of their verbal and non-verbal expressions, the one that is culturally closer may be preferred or not. In this experiment, participants of Dutch nationality were engaged in a simulated video conference with a robot that is greeting and speaking either in German or in Japanese; they completed a questionnaire assessing their preferences and their emotional state. As Dutch participant showed less signs of discomfort and better acceptance when interacting with a German robot, the hypothesis that acceptance of a robot could be directly proportional to cultural closeness was supported, while the hypothesis that similar foreign robots are equally less accepted regardless of the country was rejected. Implications are discussed for how robots should be designed to be employed in different countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSicial Robotics
Subtitle of host publication7th International Conference, ICSR 2015, Paris, France, October 26-30, 2015, Proceedings
EditorsA. Tapus, E. André, J.-C. Martin, F. Ferland, M. Ammi
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-25554-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-25553-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event7th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2015: Individual Differences - Paris, France
Duration: 26 Oct 201530 Oct 2015
Conference number: 7

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence


Conference7th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2015
Abbreviated titleICSR 2015
Internet address


  • Culture
  • Social robotics
  • Gestures
  • Greetings
  • HRI


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