Studying the Craft of Folk Psychology in HRI

Sam Thellman, Tom Ziemke


Human interaction with intelligent autonomous systems depends on the interpretation of behavior in terms of mental states. However, studies of mental state attribution to robots have so far focused primarily on folk theories about robots (“How do people think about the mental states of robots?”) without considering the function of mental state attribution in human–robot interactions. This paper highlights a number of limitations to this approach and argues the importance of studying: (1) robots in ecologically valid contexts, (2) how specific attributions affect people’s ability to predict and explain robot behavior, and (3) what causes people to attribute specific kinds of mental states to robots. Two novel methodological approaches are proposed and discussed.


 DOI: 10.21437/AI-MHRI.2018-7

Cite as: Thellman, S., Ziemke, T. (2018) Studying the Craft of Folk Psychology in HRI. Proc. FAIM/ISCA Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Multimodal Human Robot Interaction, 27-30, DOI: 10.21437/AI-MHRI.2018-7.


@inproceedings{Thellman2018,
  author={Sam Thellman and Tom Ziemke},
  title={Studying the Craft of Folk Psychology in HRI},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. FAIM/ISCA Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Multimodal Human Robot Interaction},
  pages={27--30},
  doi={10.21437/AI-MHRI.2018-7},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/AI-MHRI.2018-7}
}