Humanization of robots: is it really such a good idea?

Jean Christophe Giger*, Nuno Piçarra, Patrícia Alves-Oliveira, Raquel Oliveira, Patrícia Arriaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this review was to examine the pros and cons of humanizing social robots following a psychological perspective. As such, we had six goals. First, we defined what social robots are. Second, we clarified the meaning of humanizing social robots. Third, we presented the theoretical backgrounds for promoting humanization. Fourth, we conducted a review of empirical results of the positive effects and the negative effects of humanization on human–robot interaction (HRI). Fifth, we presented some of the political and ethical problems raised by the humanization of social robots. Lastly, we discussed the overall effects of the humanization of robots in HRI and suggested new avenues of research and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Behavior and Emerging Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Belief in human nature uniqueness
  • Humanization
  • Social agents
  • Social robot
  • Threat distinction hypothesis
  • Uncanny valley

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