International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 33–42 | Cite as

Can Human–Robot Interaction Promote the Same Depth of Social Information Processing as Human–Human Interaction?

  • Mingyu Kim
  • Taesoo Kwon
  • Kwanguk KimEmail author


Recent studies on human–robot interactions have suggested that humanoid robots have considerable potential in social cognition research. However, the authors are not aware of any studies regarding social information processing from human–robot interactions. To address this issue, we considered two types of social interaction tasks (initiating and responding joint attention tasks) and two types of interaction partners (robot and human partners). Distinguishing between these types of joint attention (JA) is important, because they are thought to reflect unique but common constellations of processes in human social cognition and social learning. Thirty-seven participants were recruited (Study 1: 20 participants, Study 2: 17 participants) for the current study, and they conducted a picture recognition social information processing task with either robot or human partners. The results of Study 1 suggested that participants who interacted with a humanoid robot achieved a better recognition memory performance in the initiating JA condition than in the responding JA condition. The results of Study 2 suggested that the human–human and human–robot interactions resulted in no quantifiable differences in recognition memory. We discuss the implications of our results for the utility of humanoid robots in social cognition studies and future research questions on human–robot interactions.


Humanoid robot Human–human interaction Human–robot interaction Social cognition Joint attention 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF-2014R1A1A1005390 and NRF-2016R1E1A2020733).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction Lab., Department of Computer ScienceHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Computer Graphics & Animation Lab., Department of Computer ScienceHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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