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The uncanny valley : involvement of fast and slow evaluation systems

Haeske, Adrian Benjamin (2016) The uncanny valley : involvement of fast and slow evaluation systems.

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Abstract:Synthetic characters that are very human-like are often perceived as creepy. This effect goes by the name “uncanny valley” phenomenon (Mori, 1970). There is a broad range of theories that try to explain its origin but it is not certain which of these theories are right. On the one hand, there are fast system theories that claim that fast and automatic evaluation processes are an explanation for the uncanny valley. On the other hand, there are slow system theories that suggest that slow and conscious evaluation processes play a role. The present study tries to uncover whether the fast, the slow or both systems are involved. Participants rated the eeriness of computer-generated faces that varied in human likeness. These ratings were done with presentation times of 100ms, 5s and unlimited. In essence, this part of the study was a replication of a study by Moll and Schmettow (2015). Furthermore, participants had to fill in questionnaires to measure a negative attitude towards robots, human-robot-uniqueness, animal reminder sensitivity and religious fundamentalism. The questionnaires were chosen because earlier research indicated their ability to predict sensitivity to the uncanny valley (MacDorman & Entezari, 2015). The results suggest that the fast system makes a substantial contribution to the overall evaluation that lies at the core of the uncanny valley phenomenon. This conclusion rises from the observation that presenting the stimuli for a very short presentation time of 100ms is enough to form a reliable judgment of eeriness. In contrast, the involvement of the slow system could not be investigated properly because none of the questionnaire scores could predict the eeriness ratings in any of the conditions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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