Kristyn Sommer

Kristyn Sommer
Griffith University · School of Applied Psychology

PhD

About

14
Publications
3,139
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
70
Citations
Introduction
I completed my PhD in children's capacity to learn from social robots at the University of Queensland. I work at the intersection of several disciplines, however primarily focus on early cognitive development and how robots and screens shape this trajectory. I employ methodologies from psychology, cognitive science, robotics and design. I am also an avid science communicator and post daily on my social media pages reaching over 3 million viewers a month on TikTok and Instagram.

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Robots are an increasingly prevalent presence in children’s lives. However, little is known about the ways in which children learn from robots and whether they do so in the same way as they learn from humans. To investigate this, we adapted a previously established imitation paradigm centered on inefficient tool use. Children (3- to 6-year-olds; N...
Article
Traditionally, infants have learned how to interact with objects in their environment through direct observations of adults and peers. In recent decades these models have been available over different media, and this has introduced non-human agents to infants’ learning environments. Humanoid robots are increasingly portrayed as social agents in on...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental research typically relies on face-to-face testing at laboratories, childcare centers, museums or playgroups. Current social distancing measures have led to a halt in research. Although face-to-face interaction is considered essential for research involving young children, current technology provides viable alternatives. This paper int...
Article
Commensurate with constant technological advances, social robots are increasingly anticipated to enter homes and classrooms; however , little is known about the efficacy of social robots as teaching tools. To investigate children's learning from robots, 1-to 3-year-olds observed either a human or a robot demonstrate two goal-directed object manipul...
Article
Past research has indicated that young children have a propensity to adopt the causally unnecessary actions of an adult, a phenomenon known as overimitation. Among competing perspectives, social accounts suggest that overimitation satisfies social motivations, be they affiliative or normative, whereas the "copy-all/refine-later" account proposes th...
Article
This study examined children’s moral concern for robots relative to living and nonliving entities. Children (4–10 years of age, N = 126) watched videos of six different entities having a box placed over them that was subsequently struck by a human hand. Children were subsequently asked to rate the moral worth of each agent relating to physical harm...
Article
Full-text available
The success of robotic agents in close proximity of humans depends on their capacity to engage in social interactions and maintain these interactions over periods of time that are suitable for learning. A critical requirement is the ability to modify the behavior of the robot contingently to the attentional and social cues signaled by the human. A...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents an analysis of children's interactions with an early prototype of a robot that is being designed for deployment in early learning centres. 23 children aged 2-6 interacted with the prototype, consisting of a pair of tablets embedded in a flat and vaguely humanoid form. We used a Wizard of Oz (WoZ) technique to control a synthesiz...

Questions

Questions (3)
Question
Looking for some advice on the use of eye-tracking glasses on toddlers (18 months+). We are interested in the TOBII glasses but are also open to recommendations if experienced users have a more kid friendly product in mind. We're interested in testing in rich environments (science museums, labs, classrooms) and for use in human robot interaction and imitation tasks (amongst other potential uses). 
Any advice on whether commercially available eye trackers can deal with little heads would be very appreciated! 
Thanks!
Question
Does anyone know of a validated survey on prior experience for animals, objects and (possibly even) robots?
We are looking to control for prior experiences on how children respond to stimuli involving varied agents. We would like to know whether children have exposure to different types of agents in their lifetime, and whether the exposure has a positive, negative or neutral valence.
We are looking brief survey which can be answered by parents (although a companion survey for the child might help too!). Anything that involves animals, robots or other agents (possibly strangers of the human persuasion) would be amazing!
Question
Possibly quite a naive question, but the answer doesn't appear easy to find when wondering why only some children are terrified of robots and others are not. It seems more than just individual difference, with significant numbers of kids responding with terror to robots (at least 1/10, sometimes higher).
Does anyone have any resources on children who are terrified of any type of robot (humanoid or not, e.g., NAO or Roomba)? Or a suggestion for any measures which might capture this? 

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The aim of the project is to develop a child friendly robot for interaction with children in a classroom environment. The project comprises aspects of robotics, human-robot interaction, developmental psychology and artificial intelligence