Assessing Children's Relationships with Social Robots


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Social robots are increasingly being developed for long-term interactions with children in domains such as healthcare, education, therapy, and entertainment. In prior research, we have seen that children treat robots as more than mere artifacts, e.g., ascribing them mental states, psychological attributes, and moral standing. Thus, while children’s relationships with robots may not be like the relationships they have with their parents, pets, imaginary friends, or smart devices, they will form relationships of some kind. As such, we need to deeply understand how children’s relationships with robots develop through time, and find ways to characterize and measure these relationships. However, there are few validated assessments for measuring young children’s long-term relationships. Thus, we have adapted or created a variety of assessments for use in this context for children aged 5-6 years. 

Four of these assessments are presented in the associated paper.

This paper shows that children can appropriately respond to these assessments with reasonably high internal reliability, and that these assessments are able to capture child-robot relationship adjustments  over a long-term interaction.