Human dishonesty in the presence of a robot: the effects of situation awareness

Sofia Petisca*, Iolanda Leite, Ana Paiva, Francisco Esteves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cheating has been extensively studied in Psychology and Economics, showing a variety of factors that can increase or decrease this behavior. Considering future human-robot interactions, where robots are being thought to be integrated in a variety of contexts, it is important to test which characteristics robots can have to prevent people from cheating. In this study (N = 123), we investigated whether people will cheat if an autonomous robot showed situationally aware behaviors towards the participant's performance (i.e., intervened when they cheated). Our results showed that being in the presence of an aware robot is better at decreasing cheating behavior than being alone, and that there are no differences in cheating behavior between a non-aware robot or being alone. This study brings implications for the development of autonomous robots in roles where cheating might happen.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Jan 2022


  • Autonomous robots
  • Cheating behavior
  • Dishonesty
  • Human–robot interaction


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