Measuring Young Children’s Long-Term Relationships with Social Robots

Kory Westlund, J. M., Park, H., Williams, R., & Breazeal, C. (2018). Measuring Young Children’s Long-term Relationships with Social Robots. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference (IDC). ACM: New York, NY.


Social robots are increasingly being developed for long-term interactions with children in domains such as healthcare, education, therapy, and entertainment. As such, we need to deeply understand how children's relationships with robots develop through time. However, there are few validated assessments for measuring young children's long-term relationships. In this paper, we present a pilot test of four assessments that we have adapted or created for use in this context with children aged 5-6: the Inclusion of Other in Self task, the Social-Relational Interview, the Narrative Description, and the Self-disclosure Task. We show that children can appropriately respond to these assessments with reasonably high internal reliability, and that the proposed assessments are able to capture child-robot relationship adjustments over a long-term interaction. Furthermore, we discuss gender and population differences in children's responses.

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