Being in a Crowd Shifts People’s Attitudes Toward Humanoids

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Humanoid store staff is increasingly common. Many retailers rely on automation to address the mounting pressure for cost savings. Meanwhile, humanoid store staff can influence customer experience negatively. People feel stressed and eerie about interacting with humanoids. In this article, I investigate one way to improve people’s attitudes toward humanoids. People’s negative attitudes towards humanoids, such as fear or a sense of eeriness, can be substantially mitigated when they are in a crowded environment. People in a crowded environment do not fear robots or find robots uncanny while people in a relatively uncrowded environment do. I refer to this phenomenon as the “crowd effect.” Being in a crowded environment substantially changes how people evaluate and respond to humanoids. The effect is mediated by risk aversion tendency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-577
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Consumer robotics
  • Human–robot interaction (HRI)
  • Robots
  • Service robots


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