Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381
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We found that children sometimes abused a social robot placed in a shopping mall hallway. They verbally abused the robot, repeatedly obstructed its path, and sometimes even kicked and punched the robot. To investigate the reasons for the abuse, we conducted a field study in which we interviewed visiting children who exhibited serious abusive behaviors, including physical contact. We analyzed interview contents to determine whether the children perceived the robot as human-like, why they abused it, and whether they thought that the robot would suffer from their abusive behavior. We obtained valid interviews from 23 children (age range, 5–9 years old) over 13 days of observations. We found that 1) the majority of the children engaged in abuse because they were curious about the robot’s reactions or enjoyed abusing it and considered it human-like, and 2) about half of them believed the robot was capable of perceiving their abusive behaviors.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): abusive behavior; children; Communication robot; semi-structured interview
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