Heuristic thinking and altruism toward machines in people impacted by COVID-19 (bibtex)
by de Melo, Celso M., Gratch, Jonathan and Krueger, Frank
Abstract:
Autonomous machines are poised to become pervasive, but most treat machines differently: we are willing to violate social norms and less likely to display altruism toward machines. Here, we report an unexpected effect that those impacted by COVID-19—as measured by a post-traumatic stress disorder scale—show a sharp reduction in this difference. Participants engaged in the dictator game with humans and machines and, consistent with prior research on disasters, those impacted by COVID-19 displayed more altruism to other humans. Unexpectedly, participants impacted by COVID-19 displayed equal altruism toward human and machine partners. A mediation analysis suggests that altruism toward machines was explained by an increase in heuristic thinking—reinforcing prior theory that heuristic thinking encourages people to treat machines like people—and faith in technology—perhaps reflecting long-term consequences on how we act with machines. These findings give insight, but also raise concerns, for the design of technology.
Reference:
Heuristic thinking and altruism toward machines in people impacted by COVID-19 (de Melo, Celso M., Gratch, Jonathan and Krueger, Frank), In iScience, volume 24, 2021.
Bibtex Entry:
@article{de_melo_heuristic_2021,
	title = {Heuristic thinking and altruism toward machines in people impacted by {COVID}-19},
	volume = {24},
	issn = {25890042},
	url = {https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2589004221001966},
	doi = {10.1016/j.isci.2021.102228},
	abstract = {Autonomous machines are poised to become pervasive, but most treat machines differently: we are willing to violate social norms and less likely to display altruism toward machines. Here, we report an unexpected effect that those impacted by COVID-19—as measured by a post-traumatic stress disorder scale—show a sharp reduction in this difference. Participants engaged in the dictator game with humans and machines and, consistent with prior research on disasters, those impacted by COVID-19 displayed more altruism to other humans. Unexpectedly, participants impacted by COVID-19 displayed equal altruism toward human and machine partners. A mediation analysis suggests that altruism toward machines was explained by an increase in heuristic thinking—reinforcing prior theory that heuristic thinking encourages people to treat machines like people—and faith in technology—perhaps reflecting long-term consequences on how we act with machines. These findings give insight, but also raise concerns, for the design of technology.},
	language = {en},
	number = {3},
	urldate = {2021-04-14},
	journal = {iScience},
	author = {de Melo, Celso M. and Gratch, Jonathan and Krueger, Frank},
	month = mar,
	year = {2021},
	keywords = {UARC, Virtual Humans},
	pages = {102228},
	file = {de Melo et al. - 2021 - Heuristic thinking and altruism toward machines in.pdf:files/1755/de Melo et al. - 2021 - Heuristic thinking and altruism toward machines in.pdf:application/pdf},
}
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