Participants Conform to Humans but Not to Humanoid Robots in an English Past Tense Formation Task (2016)
In this article, we discuss the results of an experiment designed to test the boundaries of linguistic imitation in a group setting. While most prior work has focused on convergence in either sound structure or syntax, we investigate whether speakers’ choices in verb morphology are influenced by others. The experiment uses an Asch-type peer pressure methodology. Participants give responses to target stimuli in a verbal and a visual task in a group of human peers, a group of robots, or alone. These results demonstrate that morphological conformity occurs, but that it is socially constrained—it happens with human peers but not with robot peers. This supports a view of linguistic convergence as a deeply social process. The level of linguistic conformity displayed by individuals is related to their degree of conformity in nonlinguistic tasks, suggesting that there are individual propensities toward peer imitation that transcend modalities.
CitationBeckner C, Rácz P, Hay J, Brandstetter J, Bartneck C (2016). Participants Conform to Humans but Not to Humanoid Robots in an English Past Tense Formation Task. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. 35(2). 158-179.
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KeywordsSocial Sciences; Communication; Linguistics; Psychology, Social; Psychology; communication accommodation theory; morphological variation; lexical diversity; morphology; priming; conformity; MIXED MODELS; COMMUNICATION; CONVERSATION; CONVERGENCE; PERCEPTION; PORTUGUESE; COMPUTERS; IMITATION; SPEECH; PEOPLE
ANZSRC Fields of Research46 - Information and computing sciences::4608 - Human-centred computing
47 - Language, communication and culture
RightsAll rights reserved unless otherwise stated
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Brandstetter J; Rácz P; Beckner C; Sandoval EB; Hay J; Bartneck, Christoph (IEEE, 2014)© 2014 IEEE.The question put forward in this paper is whether robots can create conformity by means of group pressure. We recreate and expand on a classic social psychology experiment by Solomon Asch, so as to explore three ...
Racz, P.; Beckner, C.; Hay, J.B.; Pierrehumbert, J.B. (University of Canterbury. Global, Cultural and Language StudiesUniversity of Canterbury. School of Language, Social and Political SciencesUniversity of Canterbury. LinguisticsUniversity of Canterbury. New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain & Behaviour, 2014)We investigate past-tense formation preferences for five irregular English verb classes. We gathered data on a large scale using a nonce probe study implemented on Amazon Mechanical Turk. We compare a Minimal ...
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