Circling around the uncanny valley: design principles for research Into the relation between human likeness and eeriness

Lay, S., Brace, N., Pike, G. and Pollick, F. (2016) Circling around the uncanny valley: design principles for research Into the relation between human likeness and eeriness. i-Perception, 7(6), pp. 1-11. (doi: 10.1177/2041669516681309) (PMID:27994844) (PMCID:PMC5154395)

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The uncanny valley effect (UVE) is a negative emotional response experienced when encountering entities that appear almost human. Research on the UVE typically investigates individual, or collections of, near human entities but may be prone to methodological circularity unless the properties that give rise to the emotional response are appropriately defined and quantified. In addition, many studies do not sufficiently control the variation in human likeness portrayed in stimulus images, meaning that the nature of stimuli that elicit the UVE is also not well defined or quantified. This article describes design criteria for UVE research to overcome the above problems by measuring three variables (human likeness, eeriness, and emotional response) and by using stimuli spanning the artificial to human continuum. These criteria allow results to be plotted and compared with the hypothesized uncanny valley curve and any effect observed can be quantified. The above criteria were applied to the methods used in a subset of existing UVE studies. Although many studies made use of some of the necessary measurements and controls, few used them all. The UVE is discussed in relation to this result and research methodology more broadly.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This article was produced as part of a PhD research programme, funded by staff fee waiver by the Open University.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pollick, Professor Frank
Authors: Lay, S., Brace, N., Pike, G., and Pollick, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:i-Perception
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):2041-6695
Published Online:06 December 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in i-Perception 7(6):1-11
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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