Social robotics and the modulation of social perception and bias

Joshua Skewes, David M. Amodio, Johanna Seibt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field of social robotics offers an unprecedented opportunity to probe the process of impression formation and the effects of identity-based stereotypes (e.g. about gender or race) on social judgements and interactions. We present the concept of fair proxy communication-a form of robot-mediated communication that proceeds in the absence of potentially biasing identity cues-and describe how this application of social robotics may be used to illuminate implicit bias in social cognition and inform novel interventions to reduce bias. We discuss key questions and challenges for the use of robots in research on the social cognition of bias and offer some practical recommendations. We conclude by discussing boundary conditions of this new form of interaction and by raising some ethical concerns about the inclusion of social robots in psychological research and interventions. This article is part of the theme issue 'From social brains to social robots: applying neurocognitive insights to human-robot interaction'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20180037
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1771
StatePublished - Apr 29 2019


  • Bias
  • Cognition
  • Prejudice
  • Robot
  • Social
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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