Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children's Social Referencing in Interaction

N.F. Tolksdorf, C.E. Crawshaw, K.J. Rohlfing, Frontiers in Education (2021).

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<jats:p>Social robots have emerged as a new digital technology that is increasingly being implemented in the educational landscape. While social robots could be deployed to assist young children with their learning in a variety of different ways, the typical approach in educational practices is to supplement the learning process rather than to replace the human caregiver, e.g., the teacher, parent, educator or therapist. When functioning in the role of an educational assistant, social robots will likely constitute a part of a triadic interaction with the child and the human caregiver. Surprisingly, there is little research that systematically investigates the role of the caregiver by examining the ways in which children involve or check in with them during their interaction with another partner<jats:bold>—</jats:bold>a phenomenon that is known as social referencing. In the present study, we investigated social referencing in the context of a dyadic child–robot interaction. Over the course of four sessions within our longitudinal language-learning study, we observed how 20 pre-school children aged 4–5 years checked in with their accompanying caregivers who were not actively involved in the language-learning procedure. The children participating in the study were randomly assigned to either an interaction with a social robot or a human partner. Our results revealed that all children across both conditions utilized social referencing behaviors to address their caregiver. However, we found that the children who interacted with the social robot did so significantly more frequently in each of the four sessions than those who interacted with the human partner. Further analyses showed that no significant change in their behavior over the course of the sessions could be observed. Findings are discussed with regard to the caregiver's role during children's interactions with social robots and the implications for future interaction design.</jats:p>
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Frontiers in Education
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Tolksdorf NF, Crawshaw CE, Rohlfing KJ. Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children’s Social Referencing in Interaction. Frontiers in Education. Published online 2021. doi:10.3389/feduc.2020.569615
Tolksdorf, N. F., Crawshaw, C. E., & Rohlfing, K. J. (2021). Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children’s Social Referencing in Interaction. Frontiers in Education. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.569615
@article{Tolksdorf_Crawshaw_Rohlfing_2021, title={Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children’s Social Referencing in Interaction}, DOI={10.3389/feduc.2020.569615}, journal={Frontiers in Education}, author={Tolksdorf, Nils Frederik and Crawshaw, Camilla E. and Rohlfing, Katharina J.}, year={2021} }
Tolksdorf, Nils Frederik, Camilla E. Crawshaw, and Katharina J. Rohlfing. “Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children’s Social Referencing in Interaction.” Frontiers in Education, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.569615.
N. F. Tolksdorf, C. E. Crawshaw, and K. J. Rohlfing, “Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children’s Social Referencing in Interaction,” Frontiers in Education, 2021, doi: 10.3389/feduc.2020.569615.
Tolksdorf, Nils Frederik, et al. “Comparing the Effects of a Different Social Partner (Social Robot vs. Human) on Children’s Social Referencing in Interaction.” Frontiers in Education, 2021, doi:10.3389/feduc.2020.569615.

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