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Do geeks dream of electric sheep? An investigation of ‘Geeks’ and their tendency to anthropomorphism

Schmidt, S.C. (2014) Do geeks dream of electric sheep? An investigation of ‘Geeks’ and their tendency to anthropomorphism.

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Abstract:The aim of this study was to fill the knowledge gap which was found concerning the individual differences between people in their tendency to anthropomorphize, with information about individuals tending to ‘geekism’. Based on the literature about ‘geekism’ and anthropomorphism the main-hypothesis stated that individuals, who tend to ‘geekism’ would tend to anthropomorphize robots less. In order to test the main-hypothesis, two explanatory paths were selected with one focusing on the ‘geeks’ and characteristics that were found or assumed to be descriptive of these individuals and the other focusing on reasons why these individuals should anthropomorphize less, based on the theory of Epley et al. (2007). Through gathering the scores of 60 participants on different questionnaires, the ‘Humanness index’ of the ‘Perceived Humanness Scale’ and analyzing the scores by means of linear mixed effects model analyses and correlational analyses, the hypotheses were tested. Based on the results we are not able to conclude that ‘geeks’ do tend to anthropomorphize robots less. With regard to the literature and the theories about anthropomorphism, only tentative conclusions can be made about the trueness based on the results of this study and future research is needed firstly to eliminate the limitations and secondly to draw conclusions about the literature with certainty and thirdly to be able to fill the knowledge gap concerning individual differences with information about the so-called ‘geeks’.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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