University of Twente Student Theses


The Influence of the Eyes in the Occurrence of the Uncanny Valley Effect

Stikker, Isabelle (2023) The Influence of the Eyes in the Occurrence of the Uncanny Valley Effect.

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Abstract:The Uncanny Valley Effect refers to the eerie feeling people experience when encountering highly humanlike entities, such as humanlike robots. Since the effect has been suggested to have an evolutionary origin, this study will focus on primate faces, to gain further knowledge in the influence of the eyes in the occurrence of the Uncanny Valley effect. The aim is to explore whether incongruence within a face (humanlike eyes combined with a non-human face) is at the root of the phenomenon. Participants (N = 85) filled out a questionnaire and rated primate stimuli on likability and human likeness. The results showed that the incongruent animal faces were scored lowest on likability. Additionally, covering the eyes with sunglasses increased likability estimates in both animal conditions, but not for humans. Lastly, inverted animal stimuli were rated lower on likability as well as on human likeness. The findings contribute to knowledge in the field of visual face processing mechanisms regarding the Uncanny Valley effect. It is concluded that incongruence within a face is not the sole cause of the Uncanny Valley effect to occur, and it is suggested that people base their likability evaluations on other facial elements in the absence of eyes.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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