Behavioral Objects: The Rise of the Evocative Machines

Florent Levillain, Elisabetta Zibetti


A new race of artifacts comes equipped with behavioral properties. Those properties transmute the very nature of the object, granting it a life of its own and a special status that stems from the psychological attributions humans naturally produce when confronted by autonomous movements. This article examines what makes behavioral objects special in terms of the psychological properties they evoke in an observer. We look into the notion of behavior and evaluate to what extent the concept of anthropomorphism is a valid construct when considering the behavior of artificial objects. Based on recent research in cognitive psychology, we propose a framework to conceptualize the way people infer psychological attributes from movement, and the way it applies to behavioral objects.


Human-robot interaction, behavior, non-anthropomorphic robot

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