Ruchen Wen and Boyoung Kim and Elizabeth Phillips and Qin Zhu and Tom Williams


International Conference on Persuasive Technology

Publication Year

To enable robots to exert positive moral influence, we need to understand the impacts of robots' moral communications, the ways robots can phrase their moral language to be most clear and persuasive, and the ways that these factors interact. Previous work has suggested, for example, that for certain types of robot moral interventions to be successful (i.e., moral interventions grounded in particular ethical frameworks), those interventions may need to be followed by opportunities for moral reflection, during which humans can critically engage with not only the contents of the robot's moral language, but also with the way that moral language connects with their social-relational ontology and broader moral ecosystem. We conceptually replicate this prior work (N=119) using a design that more precisely manipulates moral reflection. Our results confirm that opportunities for moral reflection are indeed critical to the success of robotic moral interventions---regardless of the ethical framework in which those interventions are grounded.