Fake empathy and human- robot interaction (HRI): A preliminary study

Jordi Vallverdú, Toyoaki Nishida, Yoshisama Ohmoto, Stuart Moran, Sarah Lázare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© Copyright 2018, IGI Global. Empathy is a basic emotion trigger for human beings, especially while regulating social relationships and behaviour. The main challenge of this paper is study whether people's empathic reactions towards robots change depending on previous information given to human about the robot before the interaction. The use of false data about robot skills creates different levels of what we call 'fake empathy'. This study performs an experiment in WOZ environment in which different subjects (n=17) interacting with the same robot while they believe that the robot is a different robot, up to three versions. Each robot scenario provides a different 'humanoid' description, and out hypothesis is that the more human-like looks the robot, the more empathically can be the human responses. Results were obtained from questionnaires and multi- angle video recordings. Positive results reinforce the strength of our hypothesis, although we recommend a new and bigger and then more robust experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-59
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Emotions
  • Empathy
  • Fake
  • HRI
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Robots
  • WOZ


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