A research team led by Harin Hapuarachchi, a second-year doctoral student at Toyohashi University of Technology, and Professor Mitsuaki Kitazaki conducted research using virtual reality to elucidate the complex interactions between humans and robots.They discovered that humans feel empathic embarrassment when they witness embarrassing situations involving robots.

 Empathic shame is the ability to directly share another person's emotional experience of shame (feeling shame yourself).The study also looked at cognitive empathy, which is understanding and inferring other people's emotions.The study used a combination of subjective evaluation (7-point Likert scale) and physiological measurements (skin conductance response) for quantitative evaluation.

 The research team had experiment participants observe avatars (both humans and robots) in embarrassing and non-embarrassing situations in virtual reality.As a result, participants reported experiencing both empathic shame and cognitive empathy towards both the human and robot avatars.

 Interestingly, empathic shame and cognitive empathy were significantly higher in embarrassing situations compared to non-embarrassing situations, regardless of whether the performer was human or robot.We also found that cognitive empathy was stronger for humans than for robots, suggesting that our understanding of emotional experiences for robots may be different from that for humans.

 As technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, understanding emotional responses to robots is critical, and this research not only advances understanding of human empathy, but also explores the The study is said to have implications for fields such as computer interaction.

Paper information:[Scientific Reports] Empathic embarrassment towards non-human agents in virtual environments

Toyohashi University of Technology

Aiming to become a world-leading engineering university by fostering highly-skilled engineers and leading human resources

While respecting social diversity and strengthening cooperation with local communities and industry, we aim to become a world-class technical university in practical research and social implementation of technology.The Faculty of Engineering and the Graduate School of Engineering are composed of two pillars: the cutting-edge technology field that supports the core industry and the leading technology field that supports the sustainable development society.Practical teaching […]

University Journal Online Editorial Department

This is the online editorial department of the university journal.
Articles are written by editorial staff who have a high level of knowledge and interest in universities and education.