Cross-disciplinary Research
on Engaging Advanced Technology
for Education

Workshop at the University of Milan

Research Unit on Theory of Mind

Department of Psychology, Università del Sacro Cuore, Milan

This two-day workshop explored the collaboration between the CREATE center and the research unit on Theory of Mind on the following questions:

  • which aspects of robot behavior prompt children to attribute a 'mind' and 'social agency' to a humanoid robot?
  • which tasks (e.g. games) allow research to identify that attribution?
  • how is the attribution manifest in children's behavior (e.g. fairness)?
  • how can the attribution be leveraged to promote equity and fairness?
Milan JointPic
From left to right: Michael Tscholl, Yanghee Kim, Federico Manzi
Antonella Marchetti, Cinzia Di Dio, Davide Massaro

The workshop participants agreed to collaborate on develop task designs to uncover children’s ‘Theory of Mind’ with regard to robots, and to examine different forms of child-child mediation carried out by a social robot; the aim of the mediation is to promote equity and fairness in children at early stages of schooling.

Further discussions focused on developing study designs that merge qualitative-ethnographic approach with the Milan group’s experimental approach and use of well-developed study tasks (e.g. the Ultimatum Game). Funding sources which fund joint research projects between the US and other countries will be identified