A new study reveals that children are susceptible to peer pressure by robots, while adults remain immune.
Quote:To conduct the study, researchers created three groups of adult volunteers, all assigned the same task: to estimate the length of a target line based on three other lines. In the control group, the volunteers were asked to complete the task alone. Another group went at the task with a group of human “confederates,” undercover researchers tasked to sway the humans’ decisions, and the last group worked with robot “confederates:” three humanoid robots “individualized with outfits.”
Researchers discovered that for adults, volunteers’ accuracy dropped when in a room with human confederates, while the robot confederates didn’t seem to make a difference. When they repeated the experiment with children between seven to nine years old, however, the children were heavily influenced by the robots. In fact, 74 percent of the time children gave the wrong answer, they gave the same answer as the robot, word for word. When the robots gave the right answers, the kids did too.
Children conform, adults resist: A robot group induced peer pressure on normative social conformity