Emotional reactions to robot colleagues in a role-playing experiment

Nina Savela*, Atte Oksanen, Max Pellert, David Garcia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated how people react emotionally to working with robots in three scenario-based role-playing survey experiments collected in 2019 and 2020 from the United States (Study 1: N = 1003; Study 2: N = 969, Study 3: N = 1059). Participants were randomly assigned to groups and asked to write a short post about a scenario in which we manipulated the number of robot teammates or the size of the social group (work team vs. organization). Emotional content of the corpora was measured using six sentiment analysis tools, and socio-demographic and other factors were assessed through survey questions and LIWC lexicons and further analyzed in Study 4. The results showed that people are less enthusiastic about working with robots than with humans. Our findings suggest these more negative reactions stem from feelings of oddity in an unusual situation and the lack of social interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102361
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Experiment
  • Robot
  • Role-play
  • Sentiment
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Marketing
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Artificial Intelligence


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