Model of Dual Anthropomorphism: The Relationship Between the Media Equation Effect and Implicit Anthropomorphism


Anthropomorphism, the attribution of humanlike characteristics to nonhuman entities, may be resulting from a dual process: first, a fast and intuitive (Type 1) process permits to quickly classify an object as humanlike and results in implicit anthropomorphism. Second, a reflective (Type 2) process may moderate the initial judgment based on conscious effort and result in explicit anthropomorphism. In this study, we manipulated both participants’ motivation for Type 2 processing and a robot’s emotionality to investigate the role of Type 1 versus Type 2 processing in forming judgments about the robot Robovie R2. We did so by having participants play the “Jeopardy!” game with the robot. Subsequently, we directly and indirectly measured anthropomorphism by administering self-report measures and a priming task, respectively. Furthermore, we measured treatment of the robot as a social actor to establish its relation with implicit and explicit anthropomorphism. The results suggested that the model of dual anthropomorphism can explain when responses are likely to reflect judgments based on Type 1 and Type 2 processes. Moreover, we showed that the social treatment of a robot, as described by the Media Equation theory, is related with implicit, but not explicit anthropomorphism.

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The authors would like to thank Kaiko Kuwamura, Daisuke Nakamichi, Junya Nakanishi, Masataka Okubo and Kurima Sakai for their help with data collection. The authors are very grateful for the helpful comments from the anonymous reviewers. This work was partially supported by JST CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) research promotion program “Creation of Human-Harmonized Information Technology for Convivial Society” Research Area, ERATO, ISHIGURO symbiotic Human–Robot Interaction Project and the European Project CODEFROR (FP7-PIRSES-2013-612555).

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Correspondence to Jakub Złotowski.

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Złotowski, J., Sumioka, H., Eyssel, F. et al. Model of Dual Anthropomorphism: The Relationship Between the Media Equation Effect and Implicit Anthropomorphism. Int J of Soc Robotics 10, 701–714 (2018).

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  • Anthropomorphism
  • Human–robot interaction
  • Dual-process model
  • Humanlikeness
  • Media equation