Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Chad Edwards

Second Advisor

Dr. Autumn Edwards

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Propp

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Social robotics is a quickly evolving and expanding field in which significant contributions may be made by the communication discipline. Prior research has demonstrated the successful employment of robots throughout varying contexts such as work team decision-making, education, and healthcare. The purpose of this study is to expand upon existing research and generate an understanding of how robots may be used in competitive communication environments. The study highlights face negotiation theory (FNT) and the computers are social actors (CASA) paradigm to frame predictions and understanding of how humans interact with robots in a negotiation context. The researcher uses a 2 x 2 experimental method to examine how variables of guilt persuasion and robot agency influence human concession in a human-robot negotiation game. Statistical analysis of overall participant concession during negotiation indicates that there is no significant difference in how humans negotiate with a robot based on the robot’s enactment of guilt appeals or whether the robot is positioned as a principal or agent negotiator. Further research is suggested to examine to what extent face might play a role in human-robot interaction, both in cooperative and competitive contexts.

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