Shaping empathy through perspective taking

P. Marti, I. Iacono, M. Tittarelli, J.T. Stienstra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an explorative study to evaluate a dynamic expressive mask associated to a remote robot-view used to control an assistive robot. The mask is generated by a graphical-user-interface platform displayed on a tablet used to control the robot in a smart home environment. The hypothesis of the study is that when robot's behaviour conforms to human social expectations, interactions are more likely to be found enjoyable and meaningful by people. Furthermore the expressivity of the mask is expected to result in empathic interactions with the robot and therefore to sustain rich and meaningful social exchanges. In this study we compared four scenarios of interaction between a robot and a person at home. The scenarios depicted scenes where the robot was asked to execute tasks. Each scenario was showed in two versions: with a static robot-view and with a dynamic, expressive robot-view. The results of a questionnaire administered to 60 persons showed a preference of people to interact with the dynamic expressive mask. Expressivity was a means to stimulate empathic concern and to facilitate perspective taking during the execution of the scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE RO-MAN : the 22nd IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, August 26-29, 2013, Gyeongju, Korea
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781479905089
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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