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People may feel ‘Spanish shame’ for robots when they get into uncomfortable situations

Participants were asked to rate their embarrassment on a seven-point scale and their skin conductance responses were recorded. It is a recognized indicator of emotional arousal, making it possible to understand the intensity of experiences.


  • Participants reported experiencing empathic shame (so-called “Spanish shame”). both humans and robotsbut if people were in an uncomfortable situation, the sense of understanding the other’s feelings was stronger.
  • Additionally, the skin conductance response indicated a trend: Participants showed higher levels of emotional arousal when observing a person. However, the difference was not statistically significant.

These results provide insight into the complex dynamics of humans’ empathy towards robots. Science is constantly moving towards increasing the similarity of machines to the human body. We already have examples that not only resemble humans in silhouette, but also examples that try to imitate emotions. Scientists are also constantly working on creating artificial skin for robots, so it’s only a matter of time before their appearance gets even closer to our own. This requires such research to understand how humans might respond to robots.

Harin Hapuarachchi, lead researcher on the project, says: “As technology continues to integrate into our daily lives, it is critical to understand the emotional reactions we experience to robots. Research opens new possibilities for exploring the limits of human empathy“.

Source: 24 Tv



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