, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 485–510 | Cite as

Does Japan really have robot mania? Comparing attitudes by implicit and explicit measures

  • Karl F. MacDorman
  • Sandosh K. Vasudevan
  • Chin-Chang Ho
Original article


Japan has more robots than any other country with robots contributing to many areas of society, including manufacturing, healthcare, and entertainment. However, few studies have examined Japanese attitudes toward robots, and none has used implicit measures. This study compares attitudes among the faculty of a US and a Japanese university. Although the Japanese faculty reported many more experiences with robots, implicit measures indicated both faculties had more pleasant associations with humans. In addition, although the US faculty reported people were more threatening than robots, implicit measures indicated both faculties associated weapons more strongly with robots than with humans. Despite the media’s hype about Japan’s robot ‘craze,’ response similarities suggest factors other than attitude better explain robot adoption. These include differences in history and religion, personal and human identity, economic structure, professional specialization, and government policy. Japanese robotics offers a unique reference from which other nations may learn.


Humanoid Robot Implicit Association Test Category Boundary Target Concept Explicit Measure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful for the helpful advice and kind assistance of Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Mahzarin Banaji, Stephen J. Cowley, Anthony Faiola, Sara A. Hook, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Josette Jones, Peter H. Kahn, Sara Kiesler, Tatsuya Nomura, Satoshi V. Suzuki, Hiroaki Yamano, Hiroki Yokota, and three anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl F. MacDorman
    • 1
  • Sandosh K. Vasudevan
    • 1
  • Chin-Chang Ho
    • 1
  1. 1.School of InformaticsIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA

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