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Social Psychology and Human-Robot Interaction: An Uneasy Marriage

Irfan, Bahar; Kennedy, James; Lemaignan, Séverin; Papadopoulos, Fotios; Senft, Emmanuel; Belpaeme, Tony


Bahar Irfan

Fotios Papadopoulos

Emmanuel Senft

Tony Belpaeme


© 2018 ACM. The field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) lies at the intersection of several disciplines, and is rightfully perceived as a prime interface between engineering and the social sciences. In particular, our field entertains close ties with social and cognitive psychology, and there are many HRI studies which build upon commonly accepted results from psychology to explore the novel relation between humans and machines. Key to this endeavour is the trust we, as a field, put in the methodologies and results from psychology, and it is exactly this trust that is now being questioned across psychology and, by extension, should be questioned in HRI. The starting point of this paper are a number of failed attempts by the authors to replicate old and established results on social facilitation, which leads us to discuss our arguable over-reliance and over-acceptance of methods and results from psychology. We highlight the recent "replication crisis" in psychology, which directly impacts the HRI community and argue that our field should not shy away from developing its own reference tasks.


Irfan, B., Kennedy, J., Lemaignan, S., Papadopoulos, F., Senft, E., & Belpaeme, T. (2018). Social Psychology and Human-Robot Interaction: An Uneasy Marriage. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference, (13-20).

Conference Name ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2017
Publication Date Mar 1, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 26, 2019
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages 13-20
Book Title Proceedings of the 2018 ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference
ISBN 9781450356152
Public URL