This study focuses on cultural differences in perceptions of comfortableness with robots that have either positive or negative anthropomorphic features. To clarify the effect of the valence of anthropomorphic features in addition to the effect of the number of features in different countries, this study investigated how Americans and Japanese perceive comfortableness with a positively or negatively featured robot. A total of 360 respondents (180 Americans and 180 Japanese) read a cover story about one robot. In the story, the valence and numbers of anthropomorphic features of the robot were manipulated and the respondents completed the comfortableness measurements including Comfort, Controllability and so on. The results demonstrated that Americans perceived more Comfort, Controllability, and Performance than did the Japanese respondents. The Americans show different levels of comfortableness perceptions in response to large number of features, and the Japanese respondents showed different levels of comfortableness in response to small number of features. We discuss the cultural background for the different patterns of perceived comfortableness between U.S. and Japan.

Hiroko Kamide and Tatsuo Arai, Perceived Comfortableness of Anthropomorphized Robots in U.S. and Japan, International Journal of Social Robotics, September 2017, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 537–543, online since May 2017