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Different operationalizations of the independent variable human likeness (Feng et al., 2018; Ferrey, Burleigh, and Fenske, 2015; MacDorman et al., 2009; Mäkäräinen, Kätsyri, & Talaka, 2014, derived from Langner et al., 2010; Mathur & Reichling, 2016; Schindler et al., 2017).

Different operationalizations of the independent variable human likeness (Feng et al., 2018; Ferrey, Burleigh, and Fenske, 2015; MacDorman et al., 2009; Mäkäräinen, Kätsyri, & Talaka, 2014, derived from Langner et al., 2010; Mathur & Reichling, 2016; Schindler et al., 2017).

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The uncanny valley (UV) effect is a negative affective reaction to human-looking artificial entities. It hinders comfortable, trust-based interactions with android robots and virtual characters. Despite extensive research, a consensus has not formed on its theoretical basis or methodologies. We conducted a meta-analysis to assess operationalization...

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... y-axis depicts affinity, the dependent variable (DV), as a function of human likeness, the independent variable (IV), on the x-axis (Bartneck, Kulić, Croft, & Zoghbi, 2009b;Ho & MacDorman, 2010MacDorman & Ishiguro, 2006). The stimulus sets in Figure 2 show how different creation techniques have been used to operationalize the independent variable. ...
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... < .001 ( Figure 12). ...

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... The UV is one of the most discussed ideas in the literature, having received attention from scholars across various fields, not just in humancomputer interaction, but also psychology, philosophy, culture studies, and design. Many experimental studies tested the hypothesis of anthropomorphic realism having a counterproductive effect on observers (see Kätsyri et al., 2015 andDiel et al., 2021 for reviews). However, the empirical basis of the UV has mostly relied on subjective measures. ...
... Not all experimental work found evidence supporting the valley-shaped curve predicted by the UV theory in the results. In fact, results have been mixed, with some studies reporting the UV shape (Diel et al., 2021), whereas others reporting a different type of relationship, including a linear one (Kätsyri et al., 2019) .Consequently, Kätsyri et al. (2019) proposed three different shapes for the relationship between the perception of human-likeness and affinity. A distinction was made between a 'strong uncanny valley' and a 'weak uncanny valley', as well as an 'uncanny slope' (i.e., a positive linear relationship between human-likeness and affinity, whereby increasing human-likeness entails increasing affinity) (Fig. 2a). ...
... The shapes for the human-likeness and affinity relationships presented in Fig. 2 are beneficial for making sense of the observed results across different studies. It is possible that depending on the stimuli used and the method to create the stimuli (e.g., facial feature distortion and morphing), the UV shape varies (Diel et al., 2021). For example, Kätsyri et al. (2019) showed that computer-generated faces elicited only a weak UV. ...
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The Uncanny Valley (UV) theory predicts that imperfectly human-like artificial agents elicit negative reactions in perceivers. While to date most studies investigating the UV have been behavioral, there is a growing number of neuroscientific studies that hold the potential of shedding light on the automatic processes related to the UV. The current paper provides a scoping review of studies using brain imaging techniques that addressed the UV. Of the total of 74 studies found in the database search, 13 met the inclusion criteria and compared the neural processing of human vs. artificial agent stimuli. Neural differences were found when processing the faces of humans and artificial agents, with reduced responses for the latter in a face-selective brain region, the fusiform face area. At the temporal level, specific event-related potential (ERP) components were susceptible to facial appearance, such as the Late Positive Potential. The studies that employed mentalizing, i.e., reasoning about other agents’ behavior, showed that different brain regions of the mentalizing network were engaged, with the temporo-parietal junction being more responsive to humans, while the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the precuneus were more responsive when reasoning about artificial agents. Some commonalities were also observed: the processing of human and artificial agent actions activated comparable brain areas in the sensorimotor cortex. Not only does this scoping review shed light on the neural processes that may underlie the UV, but it also allows for generating predictions with respect to processing differences regarding human and artificial agents.
... Research that used morphed images found support for the uncanny valley hypothesis (e.g., Lischetzke et al., 2017;MacDorman & Ishiguro, 2006;Mathur & Reichling, 2009 but this line of research was criticized for the lack of external validity (Diel et al., 2022;Palomäki et al., 2018). A recent review and meta-analysis (Mara et al., 2022) demonstrated that higher scores on human likeness were absent in experiments that used realistic human-like robots. ...
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Equipping robots with sophisticated mental abilities can result in reduced likeability (uncanny valley of mind). Other work shows that exposing robots to harm increases empathy and likeability. Connecting both lines of research, we hypothesized that eliciting empathy could mitigate or even reverse the negative response to robots with mind. In two online experiments, we manipulated the attributes of a robot (with or without mind) and presented the robot in situations in which it was either exposed to harm or not. Perceived empathy for the robot and robot likeability served as dependent variables. Experiment 1 (N = 559) used text vignettes to manipulate robot mind and a video that involved either physical harm or no harm to the machine. In a second experiment (N = 396), both experimental factors were manipulated via the shown video. Across both experiments, we observed a significant indirect effect of presenting the robot in a harmful situation on likeability, with empathy serving as a mediating variable. Moreover, a residual negative influence of showing the robot in a harmful situation was detected. We conclude that the uncanny valley of mind observed in our studies could be based on the robot's human-like imperfection, rather than descriptions of its supposed mind.
... For example, research has found that people are uncomfortable with robots that look very (but not perfectly) humanlike: such robots are said to fall into the "uncanny valley" [18]. A recent meta-analysis find that this effect is large and robust to different operationalizations of human likeness and affective reactions [5]. There are many potential explanations for this phenomenon, many of which rely on the belief that robots and humans belong in separate categories, such that highly humanlike robots blur categorical boundaries, threaten human uniqueness, and create discomfort [7,31]. ...
... We reverse-scored this measure to create our primary dependent variable which we label "comfort" (α 0.92). We recognize that there is ambiguity and debate regarding the proper antonym for uncanny, such that alternative labels for our measure such as likeable or appealing may also be appropriate [5]. We also asked participants how much they would be interested in purchasing the robot, using the same scale. ...
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The uncanny valley hypothesis describes how people are often less comfortable with highly humanlike robots. However, this discomfort may vary cross-culturally. This research tests how increasing robots’ physical and mental human likeness affects people’s comfort with robots in the United States and Japan, countries whose cultural and religious contexts differ in ways that are relevant to the evaluation of humanlike robots. We find that increasing physical and mental human likeness decreases comfort among Americans but not among Japanese participants. One potential explanation for these differences it that Japanese participants perceived robots to be more animate, having more of a mind, a soul, and consciousness, relative to American participants.
... The affective or perceptual component of the uncanny valley has been described as a specific sensational response related to eeriness, creepiness, strangeness, and coldness [2,[30][31][32][33]. Whereas a variety of measures and interpretations of the uncanny valley's affective component exist, a recent meta-analysis on the uncanny valley's methodology suggests that specific anxiety-related semantic items like eerie, creepy, and uncanny, or anomaly-related items like strange and weird to be effective measures to capture the effect [31]. ...
... The affective or perceptual component of the uncanny valley has been described as a specific sensational response related to eeriness, creepiness, strangeness, and coldness [2,[30][31][32][33]. Whereas a variety of measures and interpretations of the uncanny valley's affective component exist, a recent meta-analysis on the uncanny valley's methodology suggests that specific anxiety-related semantic items like eerie, creepy, and uncanny, or anomaly-related items like strange and weird to be effective measures to capture the effect [31]. This study will focus on the experiences of uncanniness and abnormality and their proposed causes. ...
... While some researchers have proposed that cognitive disfluency underlies the uncanny valley, possibly caused by categorization difficulty [41][42][43], categorization confusion or difficulty and uncanniness ratings follow different trajectories across a range of stimuli varying on the degree of human likeness [1,44]. Furthermore, some researchers have argued that general cognitive theories like disfluency or dissonance are insufficient in explaining the uncanny valley as they have not been related to specific sensations of eeriness or uncanniness in previous research [7,31]. ...
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Humanlike entities deviating from the norm of human appearance are perceived as strange or uncanny. Explanations for the eeriness of deviating humanlike entities include ideas specific to human or animal stimuli like mate selection, avoidance of threat or disease, or dehumanization; however, deviation from highly familiar categories may provide a better explanation. Here it is tested whether experts and novices in a novel (greeble) category show different patterns of abnormality, attractiveness, and uncanniness responses to distorted and averaged greebles. Greeble-trained participants assessed the abnormality, attractiveness, uncanniness of normal, averaged, and distorted greebles and their responses were compared to participants who had not previously seen greebles. The data show that distorted greebles were more uncanny than normal greebles only in the training condition, and distorted greebles were more uncanny in the training compared to the control condition. In addition, averaged greebles were not more attractive than normal greebles regardless of condition. The results suggest uncanniness is elicited by deviations from stimulus categories of expertise rather than being a purely biological human- or animal-specific response.
... The term uncanny valley describes negative emotional appraisal of near humanlike entities compared with less humanlike entities or humans (Mori, 2012). In uncanny valley research, the effect of manipulating a stimulus' human likeness or realism (which is often measured on rating scales) is plotted against affective responses towards the stimulus (Diel, Weigelt, & MacDorman, 2022). Affinity increases with human likeness until it dips into the negative and increases back to the positive at fully human likeness, producing a N-shaped function. ...
... Affinity increases with human likeness until it dips into the negative and increases back to the positive at fully human likeness, producing a N-shaped function. The negative emotional experience has been described as eeriness, creepiness, or uncanniness (Diel et al., 2022;Ho & MacDorman, 2010, 2017Mangan, 2015). The effect is not specific to human entities: artificial animals (Löffler, Dörrenbächer, & Hassenzahl, 2020;Schwind, Leicht, Jäger, Wolf, & Henze, 2018) and manipulations of realistic animals (Diel & MacDorman, 2021;Yamada, Kawabe, & Ihaya, 2012) elicit observable uncanny valleys. ...
... First, plotting uncanniness against place realism should create a quadratic (U-shaped) or cubic (N-shaped) function (uncanny valley hypothesis) akin to previous uncanny valley research (Diel et al., 2022). ...
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Certain built environments can decrease aesthetic appeal. For humans and objects, deviation from typical appearances leads to nonlinear appraisal characterised as the uncanny valley. The first time, it was explored whether an uncanny valley can be found for built environments. In Experiment 1, a cubic N-shaped function of uncanniness plotted against realism of built environments was found, indicating an uncanny valley. Quantitative and qualitative data indicate an association between uncanniness and structural anomalies. Experiment 2 explored distortions leading to uncanniness of indoor places. In Experiment 3, human presence decreased uncanniness of distorted indoor public places but increased uncanniness of private rooms. Taken together, the evidence indicates that deviations from familiar configural patterns drive uncanniness of built physical places. Thus, strong deviations from a built environment's predictable pattern decreases its aesthetic appeal.
... Surprisingly, even monkeys behave with such an uncanny feeling with realistic but fake monkey faces (Steckenfinger and Ghazanfar, 2009). The uncanny effect has been replicated in numerous laboratories (e.g., Kätsyri et al., 2015;Lay et al., 2016;Mathur and Reichling, 2016;Mathur et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2015;Zhang et al., 2020) and is known to have a large effect size, as shown by a large-scale meta-analysis of 72 studies in 56 papers (Diel et al., 2022). ...
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The uncanny valley stands for the feeling of eeriness triggered by something that looks almost, but not exactly, like a real human. This study, thus, examined whether other-race bias modulates the uncanny valley phenomenon; both effects are based on familiarity with different face categories. We asked participants from Japan and Norway to rate the unpleasantness of computer-generated East Asian and European faces with progressively scaled eye sizes (from unnaturally small to unnaturally large). Simultaneously, we monitored their pupil sizes with an eye tracker. Pupillary diameter can be used as an objective measure of the uncanny feeling elicited by faces. We found that even when the changes in the images eye size were small, both Japanese and Norwegian participants rated the faces of their own race as more unpleasant than the faces of the different races, indicating the presence of other-race bias in the context of the uncanny valley, at least with computer-generated faces. Similar to the rating data, the pupils of Japanese participants dilated more for East Asian faces than for European faces. In contrast, the pupils of Norwegian participants dilated more for East Asian faces than for European faces. These differences can be attributed to unequal exposure to the faces from different races within each culture, thus, demonstrating other-race bias in the uncanny valley.
... Recent advancement of robotics technologies and the proliferation of robots in societies have spurred abundant research linking human-like appearance of robots to various domains of psychology, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), including perceptual (Martini et al., 2016;Mathur et al., 2020;Powers & Kiesler, 2006;, cognitive (Gray & Wegner, 2012;Rosenthal-von der Pütten & Krämer, 2015;Zhao, Cusimano, & Malle, 2016), and behavioral domains (Haring, Watanabe, Silvera-Tawil, Velonaki, & Matsumoto, 2015, May;2021. Amidst these interests in the influence of robot human-likeness on people's perceptions, the topic of whether the uncanny valley exists has received much attention (Diel, Weigelt, & MacDorman, 2022;Fink, 2012;Kätsyri et al., 2015;Mathur et al., 2020;Mori et al., 2012;Pollick, 2010;Wang et al., 2015;Zlotowski et al., 2013). ...
... These items were selected to measure both positive and negative emotional responses (i.e., shinwakan and bukimi) that the uncanny valley hypothesis describes (Jentsch, 1906(Jentsch, /1997Mori, 1970;Mori et al., 2012). 1 We chose a self-report measure to capture uncanny reactions because it can be an efficient way to derive easily interpretable and comparable results from participants' responses to many stimuli. Further, asking directly about participants' emotion is considered as a more reliable measure of affective responses than relying solely on behavioral measures (Diel, Weigelt, & MacDorman, 2022). ...
... (Phillips et al., 2018). The images of the robots were standardized (Diel, Weigelt, & MacDorman, 2022) in that they were depicted against a white or transparent background, in a standing, neutral, forward-facing pose with a neutral or mildly positive facial expression, whenever possible. Fig. 3 shows all the robots currently present in the database and used as stimuli in the present research. ...
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The uncanny valley hypothesis describes how increased human-likeness of artificial entities, ironically, could elicit a surge of negative reactions from people. Much research has studied the uncanny valley hypothesis, but little research has sought to examine people's reactions to a broad range of human-likeness manifested in real-world robots. We focused on examining people's emotional responses to real-world, as opposed to hypothetical, robots because these robots impact real-life human–robot interactions. We measured both positive and negative emotional responses to a large collection of full-body images of robots (N = 251) with various human-like features. We found evidence for the existence of not one, but two uncanny valleys. Mori's uncanny valley emerged for high human-like robots and a second uncanny valley emerged for moderately low human-like robots. We attributed these valleys to unique combinations of perceptual mismatches between human-like features, specified by a match between surface and facial feature dimensions accompanied by a mismatch with the body-manipulator dimension. We also found that patterns of the uncanny valleys differed between positive (shinwakan) and negative (bukimi) emotional responses. Lastly, the word uncanny appeared to be an unreliable measure of the uncanny valley. Implications for robot design and the uncanny valley research are discussed.
... Creepiness is a feeling of unease and anxiety when faced with new or unpredictable people or situations (Diel et al., 2022;Langer and K€ onig, 2018;Seberger et al., 2021;Torkamaan et al., 2019). Langer and K€ onig (2018) stated that two facets form this construct: emotional creepiness (affective dimension) and uneasy ambiguity (cognitive dimension). ...
Article
Purpose This study aims to examine the antecedents of privacy concerns in the era of artificial intelligence. Specifically, it focuses on the impact of various factors related to interactions with a chatbot (creepiness and perceived risk) and individual traits (familiarity with chatbots and need for privacy) in relation to privacy when interacting with a chatbot in the context of financial services. The moderating effect of gender on these relationships was also examined. Design/methodology/approach A total of 430 Canadians responded to an online questionnaire after interacting with a chatbot in the context of a simulated auto insurance quote. A structural equation model was used to test the hypotheses. Findings The results showed that privacy concerns are influenced primarily by creepiness, followed by perceived risk and the need for privacy. The last two relationships are moderated by gender. Conversely, familiarity with chatbots does not affect privacy concerns in this context. Originality/value This study is the first to consider the influence of creepiness as an antecedent of privacy concerns arising from interactions with AI tools and highlight its key impacts. It also shows how gender moderates specific relationships in this context.
... Not all efforts to improve a robot's dog-likeness may result in a positive outcome. A well-studied phenomenon in human-robot interaction is the uncanny valley hypothesis which predicts that as artificial agents become increasingly, but not perfectly humanlike, peoples' responses towards these agents become increasingly positive (e.g., likable, trustworthy) up to a point after which responses fall into a markedly negative "valley" (e.g., eerie, creepy) [46][47][48][49]. Recent studies have shown that there may also be an uncanny valley for robots that are animal-like (zoomorphic), such that robots high and low in animallikeness (i.e., PARO, MiRO, etc.) were preferred over those mixing realistic and unrealistic features [50]. ...
... It is possible that with the framing of the Aibo as a robot, expectations for matching the exact fidelity of a dog were lower compared to the puppy frame. Because possible mechanisms of uncanniness are routed in perceptual mismatches [49,63], the mismatch between the robot frame and the fur may have been much lower or non-existent compared to the other conditions. ...
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To understand how to improve interactions with dog-like robots, we evaluated the importance of “dog-like” framing and physical appearance on interaction, hypothesizing multiple interactive benefits of each. We assessed whether framing Aibo as a puppy (i.e., in need of development) versus simply a robot would result in more positive responses and interactions. We also predicted that adding fur to Aibo would make it appear more dog-like, likable, and interactive. Twenty-nine participants engaged with Aibo in a 2 × 2 (framing × appearance) design by issuing commands to the robot. Aibo and participant behaviors were monitored per second, and evaluated via an analysis of commands issued, an analysis of command blocks (i.e., chains of commands), and using a T-pattern analysis of participant behavior. Participants were more likely to issue the “Come Here” command than other types of commands. When framed as a puppy, participants used Aibo’s dog name more often, praised it more, and exhibited more unique, interactive, and complex behavior with Aibo. Participants exhibited the most smiling and laughing behaviors with Aibo framed as a puppy without fur. Across conditions, after interacting with Aibo, participants felt Aibo was more trustworthy, intelligent, warm, and connected than at their initial meeting. This study shows the benefits of introducing a socially robotic agent with a particular frame and importance on realism (i.e., introducing the robot dog as a puppy) for more interactive engagement.
... The uncanny valley effect, proposed in 1970 by Mori (2012), is a negative affective reaction toward objects that imperfectly resemble human beings, such as android robots or computeranimated characters. A large meta-analysis has confirmed the effect (Diel et al., 2022), which could hinder the acceptance of virtual characters and their advice. The uncanny valley effect can occur when a character's features are atypical, appear less real than others, or deviate from a familiar configuration Diel and MacDorman, 2021). ...
... In 1970, Mori (2012) proposed that human replicas-like android robots-could appear eerie. This effect, known as the uncanny valley, has been confirmed by a meta-analysis (Diel et al., 2022). The present study reproduced this effect by using a 3-D computeranimated doctor in a virtual consultation with three different rendering styles. ...
Article
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Care for chronic disease requires patient adherence to treatment advice. Nonadherence worsens health outcomes and increases healthcare costs. When healthcare professionals are in short supply, a virtual physician could serve as a persuasive technology to promote adherence. However, acceptance of advice may be hampered by the uncanny valley effect—a feeling of eeriness elicited by human simulations. In a hypothetical virtual doctor consultation, 441 participants assumed the patient’s role. Variables from the stereotype content model and the heuristic–systematic model were used to predict adherence intention and behavior change. This 2 × 5 between-groups experiment manipulated the doctor’s bedside manner—either good or poor—and virtual depiction at five levels of realism. These independent variables were designed to manipulate the doctor’s level of warmth and eeriness. In hypothesis testing, depiction had a nonsignificant effect on adherence intention and diet and exercise change, even though the 3-D computer-animated versions of the doctor (i.e., animation, swapped, and bigeye) were perceived as eerier than the others (i.e., real and cartoon). The low-warmth, high-eeriness doctor prompted heuristic processing of information, while the high-warmth doctor prompted systematic processing. This pattern contradicts evidence reported in the persuasion literature. For the stereotype content model, a path analysis found that good bedside manner increased the doctor’s perceived warmth significantly, which indirectly increased physical activity. For the heuristic–systematic model, the doctor’s eeriness, measured in a pretest, had no significant effect on adherence intention and physical activity, while good bedside manner increased both significantly. Surprisingly, cognitive perspective-taking was a stronger predictor of change in physical activity than adherence intention. Although virtual characters can elicit the uncanny valley effect, their effect on adherence intention and physical activity was comparable to a video of a real person. This finding supports the development of virtual consultations.