Of robots and robotkind: Extending intergroup contact theory to social machines

Brad A. Haggadone, Jaime Banks, Kevin Koban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study seeks to advance how intergroup dynamics can help us better understand the relations between humans and robots. Intergroup contact theory states that negative feelings toward an outgroup can be reduced through controlled intergroup contact. This study tests this theory by having study participants interact with either a human (member of the ingroup) or large humanoid robot (member of an outgroup) and measuring changes in social distance before and after the interaction. The findings suggest that robotkind is a distinct social group separate from humankind and as predicted by intergroup contact theory, exposure to a specific robot can override held prejudices against robots as a social group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Intergroup contact theory
  • human–machine communication
  • ontological categorization
  • social distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Of robots and robotkind: Extending intergroup contact theory to social machines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this