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Abstract

As suggested by previous results, whether, when designing robots, we should make use of social stereotypes and thus perpetuate them is question of present concern. The aim of this study was the identification of the specific conditions under which people’s judgments of robots were no longer guided by stereotypes. The study participants were 121 individuals between 18 and 69 years of age. We used an experimental design and manipulated the gender and strength of robots, and we measured the perception of how a robot could be used in automotive mechanics for light and heavy tasks. Results show that the technical characteristics of robots helped to anchor people’s judgments on robots’ intrinsic characteristics rather than on stereotypical indicators. Thus, stereotype perpetuation does not seem to be the sole option when designing robots.

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