Xuan Zhao

Xuan Zhao
Stanford University | SU · Department of Psychology

PhD
Research Scientist at Stanford University, SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions)

About

29
Publications
12,818
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535
Citations
Introduction
Xuan Zhao, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at SPARQ. She studies how to help people connect, offer and appreciate different perspectives, foster meaningful conversations and positive interactions, and create inclusive environments. She also works on how people interact with/via humanlike technologies and their downstream consequences. Prior to SPARQ, Dr. Zhao was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Publications

Publications (29)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Anthropomorphic robots, or robots with human-like appearance features such as eyes, hands, or faces, have drawn considerable attention in recent years. To date, what makes a robot appear human-like has been driven by designers» and researchers» intuitions, because a systematic understanding of the range, variety, and relationships among constituent...
Article
Full-text available
People value those who act with others in mind even as they pursue their own goals. Across three studies (N = 566; 4- to 6-year-olds), we investigated children's developing understanding of such considerate, socially-mindful actions. By age 6, both U.S. and Chinese children positively evaluate a character who takes a snack for herself in a way that...
Preprint
Full-text available
Compliments increase the well-being of both expressers and recipients, yet people report in a series of surveys giving fewer compliments than they should give, or would like to give. Nine experiments suggest that a reluctance to express genuine compliments partly stems from underestimating the positive impact that compliments will have on recipient...
Article
As robots rapidly enter society, how does human social cognition respond to their novel presence? Focusing on one foundational social-cognitive capacity—visual perspective taking—seven studies reveal that people spontaneously adopt a robot's unique perspective and do so with patterns of variation that mirror perspective taking toward humans. As the...
Preprint
Performing acts of kindness increases well-being, yet people can be reluctant to ask for help that would enable others’ kindness. We suggest people may be overly reluctant due to miscalibrated expectations about others’ prosocial motivation, underestimating how positively others will feel when asked for help. A pretest identified that interest in a...
Article
Despite having more opportunities than ever to connect with strangers, and much to gain from doing so, people often refrain from talking with, and listening to, strangers. We propose a framework that classifies obstacles to connecting with strangers into three categories concerning intention (underestimating the benefits of conversations), competen...
Article
Performing acts of kindness increases well-being, yet people can be reluctant to ask for help that would enable others’ kindness. We suggest that people may be overly reluctant because of miscalibrated expectations about others’ prosocial motivation, underestimating how positively others will feel when asked for help. A pretest identified that inte...
Article
A person’s well-being depends heavily on forming and maintaining positive relationships, but people can be reluctant to connect in ways that would create or strengthen relationships. Emerging research suggests that miscalibrated social cognition may create psychological barriers to connecting with others more often. Specifically, people may underes...
Preprint
Full-text available
With text-based online chats prevailing the current customer service industry, this manuscript presents a novel investigation into an ever-present yet overlooked aspect of these communications: typographical errors (“typos”). Over a series of experiments featuring novel methodological tools modeled after online chats with company representatives, w...
Article
Full-text available
Compliments increase the well-being of both expressers and recipients, yet in a series of surveys people report giving fewer compliments than they should give, or would like to give. Nine experiments suggest that a reluctance to express genuine compliments partly stems from underestimating the positive impact that compliments will have on recipient...
Article
Full-text available
We provide guidelines for planning, executing, analyzing, and reporting hypothesis-driven experiments in Human–Robot Interaction (HRI). The intended audience are researchers in the field of HRI who are not trained in empirical research but who are interested in conducting rigorous human-participant studies to support their research. Following the c...
Preprint
Full-text available
People value those who act with others in mind even as they pursue their own goals. Across three studies (N=566; 4- to 6-year-olds), we investigated children’s developing understanding of such considerate, socially-mindful actions. By age 6, both U.S. and Chinese children positively evaluate a character who takes a snack for herself in a way that l...
Article
Full-text available
Compliments can satisfy others’ need to belong, but expressers may underestimate their positive impact on recipients, creating a barrier to giving them more often. We assess how people expect recipients will react to multiple compliments over time, compared to recipients’ actual experiences. Participants expected that recipients would adopt to mult...
Preprint
Full-text available
Robots are entering a wide range of society’s private and public settings, often with a strikingly humanlike appearance and emulating a humanlike mind. But what constitutes humanlikeness—in both body and mind—has been conceptually and methodologically unclear. In three studies based on a collection of 251 real-world robots, we report the first prog...
Preprint
Full-text available
As robots rapidly enter society, how does human social cognition respond to their novel presence? Focusing on one foundational social-cognitive capacity—visual perspective taking— six studies reveal that people spontaneously adopt a robot’s unique perspective and do so with patterns of variation that mirror perspective taking toward humans. As with...
Preprint
Full-text available
Today more than ever before, online writing (e.g., emails, texts, and social media posts) has become a primary means of communication. Because written communication lacks human nonverbal cues (e.g., voice), people frequently struggle to distinguish whether they are interacting with a human or chatbot online. The current research suggests a novel wa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous research has investigated whether people can spontaneously and accurately take another person’s visual perspective, but little is known about when people actually engage in perspective taking. Can perceiving another person’s goal-directed actions lead to adopting their unique perceptual viewpoint? In this paper, we examine whether merely o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To successfully navigate the complex social world, people often need to solve the problem of perspective selection: Between two conflicting viewpoints of the self and the other, whose perspective should one take? In two experiments, we show that four-year-olds use others' knowledge and goals to decide when to engage in visual perspective taking. Ch...
Chapter
Full-text available
Visual perspective taking plays a fundamental role in both human-human interaction and human-robot interaction (HRI). In three experiments, we took a novel approach to the topic of visual perspective taking in HRI, examining whether, and under what conditions, people spontaneously take a robot's visual perspective. Using two different robot models,...

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