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Description: The Economic Games with Robots 2 (ECONOBOT2) project explores the impact of robots’ emotional displays on people’s tendency to cooperate with a robot opponent in prisoner’s dilemma games. Participants played iterated prisoner’s dilemma games with a non-expressive robot (as a measure of cooperative baseline), followed by an angry and a sad robot, in turn. Based on the Emotion as Social Information model, we expected participants with higher cooperative to cooperate less when a robot displayed anger, and cooperate more when the robot displayed sadness. Contrarily, according to this model, participants with lower cooperative predispositions should cooperate more with an angry robot and less with a sad robot. The results of 60 participants failed to support the predictions. Only participants’ cooperative predispositions significantly predicted their cooperative tendencies during gameplay. Participants who cooperated more in the baseline measure also cooperated more with the robots displaying sadness and anger. In exploratory analyses, we revealed the influence of individual differences in emotion perception on people’s cooperative decisions. Participants who accurately recognised the robots’ sad and angry displays tended to cooperate less with them overall. The study highlights the impact of personal factors in human–robot cooperation. and how these factors might surpass the influence of bottom-up emotional displays by robots.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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