Is that a human? Categorization (dis)fluency drives evaluations of agents ambiguous on human-likeness

Evan W. Carr , Galit Hofree , Kayla Sheldon , Ayse P. Saygin , Piotr Winkielman


A fundamental and seemingly unbridgeable psychological boundary divides humans and nonhumans. Essentialism theories suggest that mixing these categories violates 'natural kinds.' Perceptual theories propose that such mixing creates incompatible cues. Most theories suggest that mixed agents, with both human and nonhuman features, obligatorily elicit discomfort. In contrast, we demonstrate top-down, cognitive control of these effects�such that the discomfort with mixed agents is partially driven by disfluent categorization of ambiguous features that are pertinent to the agent. Three experiments tested this idea. Participants classified 3 different agents (humans, androids, and robots) either on the human-likeness or control dimension and then evaluated them. Classifying on the human-likeness dimensions made the mixed agent (android) more disfluent, and in turn, more disliked. Disfluency also mediated the negative affective reaction. Critically, devaluation only resulted from disfluency
Author Evan W. Carr
Evan W. Carr,,
, Galit Hofree
Galit Hofree,,
, Kayla Sheldon
Kayla Sheldon,,
, Ayse P. Saygin
Ayse P. Saygin,,
, Piotr Winkielman (Wydział Psychologii)
Piotr Winkielman,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, ISSN 0096-1523, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2017
Pages651 - 666
Publication size in sheets0.75
Keywords in Englishemotion, categorization, judgment and decision making, cognitive processing, human-computer interaction, 2017, Cognitive Processes, Emotions, Human Computer Interaction, Robotics, Cognitive Control, Classification (Cognitive Process), Decision Making, Judgment, 2017
ASJC Classification2802 Behavioral Neuroscience; 1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Languageen angielski
Carr et al. - 2017 - JEPHPP.pdf 1.6 MB
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Oświadczenie_winkielman-JEPHPP-2017 (1).pdf 90.52 KB
Score (nominal)35
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.146; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.289 (2) - 2017=2.855 (5)
Citation count*17 (2021-04-08)
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