In face-to-face interaction, moving with and mimicking thebody movements of communication partners has been widely demonstrated to affect interpersonal processes, including feel-ings of affiliation and closeness. In this paper, we examineeffects of movement and mimicry in robot-mediated communi-cation. Participants were instructed to get to know their partner,a confederate, who interacted with them via a telepresencerobot. The robot either (a) mimicked the participant’s bodyorientation (mimicry condition), (b) mimicked pre-recordedmovements of another participant (random movement condi-tion), or (c) did not move during the interaction (static con-dition). Results showed that mimicry and random movementhad similar effects on participants’ perceptions of similarityand closeness to their partners and that these effects dependon the participant’s gender and level of self-monitoring. Thefindings suggest that the social movements of a telepresencerobot affect interpersonal processes and that these effects areshaped by individual differences.
Mina Choi, Rachel Kornfield, Leila Takayama, Bilge Mutlu