University of Twente Student Theses


The Uncanny Valley as a universal experience : a replication study using multilevel modelling

Koopman, Robbin (2019) The Uncanny Valley as a universal experience : a replication study using multilevel modelling.

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Abstract:It was previously expected that increasing a robot’s human likeness would increase its likability. Mori (1970) argued that at some point, as a robot resembles a human too much and its non-human features become more salient, the emotional response to these becomes negative instead. This negative dip is referred to as the ‘Uncanny Valley’. Which cognitive mechanisms underlie the UV is still uncertain. There is an on-going debate on whether the cause lies in individual differences or innate human traits. To examine the role of individual differences, the first question to ask should be whether the UV is a universal experience. Additionally, it could be examined whether the trough of the UV is at the same position for everyone. The current study aims at answering these questions by replicating Mathur and Reichling’s (2016) experiment, adding multi-level modelling. Data analysis showed that every participant (n=26) experienced the UV, but variation exists in individual responses. This suggests that innate traits are at the core of the UV experience, but that individual differences may modulate sensitivity to the phenomenon. From previous literature, it is unclear which differences significantly impact this sensitivity. Future research should continue to focus on factors modulating this sensitivity.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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