Trust in Humans, Robots, and Cyborgs: Treated the Same, but Experienced Differently

Posted: 10 Nov 2018

See all articles by Eric Schniter

Eric Schniter

Center for the Study of Human Nature - CSUF; Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute

Timothy W. Shields

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics; Chapman University - Economic Science Institute

Daniel Sznycer

University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology

Date Written: October 17, 2018

Abstract

Human-robot and human-cyborg interactions requiring trust are increasingly common in the marketplace, workplace, on the road, and in the home, yet little is known about human willingness to make trust-based investments with non-human agents acting alone (i.e., “robots”), or bound to welfare of non-deciding humans (i.e., “cyborgs”). Even less is known about the emotional reactions these interactions elicit. While other-regarding models of social preferences predict more trust-based investment in interactions that can benefit others, we see no difference across conditions in investments – only differences in emotional reactions to the trust-based interaction outcomes. The Recalibrational model of emotions predicts whether particular emotions are reported following trust-game interactions with people. Here we extend those emotion predictions to analogous trust based interactions, but with robots and cyborgs that violate certain expectations of human-human relationships. Using a between-subjects design, we compare investment and emotions from human-human trust games to investment and emotions from nearly identical trust games (a.k.a. “risk games”) that humans play with a robot or with a cyborg. Between conditions we find different emotional reactions but fail to find differences in investment behavior. These results highlight a unique emotional facet of human interaction while providing support for the Recalibration model of emotions.

Keywords: Trust, Robots, Cyborgs, Recalibrational Emotion, Experiment

JEL Classification: C72, C90, D63, D64, L51

Suggested Citation

Schniter, Eric and Shields, Timothy W. and Sznycer, Daniel, Trust in Humans, Robots, and Cyborgs: Treated the Same, but Experienced Differently (October 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3269015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3269015

Eric Schniter (Contact Author)

Center for the Study of Human Nature - CSUF ( email )

800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
United States

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/ericschniter/

Timothy W. Shields

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
United States
714.289.2092 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/timothywshields/

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Daniel Sznycer

University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9660
United States

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