Theory of Robot Communication: II. Befriending a Robot over Time

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In building on theories of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), Human-Robot Interaction, and Media Psychology (Mψ; i.e., Theory of Affective Bonding), this paper proposes an explanation of how over time, people experience the mediated or simulated aspects of the interaction with a social robot. In two simultaneously running loops, a more reflective process is balanced with a more affective process. If human interference is detected behind the machine, Robot-Mediated Communication commences, which basically follows CMC assumptions; if human interference remains undetected, Human-Robot Communication (HRC) comes into play, holding the robot for an autonomous social actor. The more emotionally aroused a robot user is, the more likely they develop an affective relationship with what actually is a machine. The main contribution of this paper is an integration of CMC, HRC, and Mψ, outlining a full-blown theory of robot communication connected to friendship formation, accounting for communicative features, modes of processing, as well as psychophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2050027
JournalInternational Journal of Humanoid Robotics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • artificial friendship
  • human-robot interaction
  • language
  • neurology of emotion
  • Robot communication theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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