Considering possible impediments to authentic interactions with machines, this study explores contributors to robophobia from the potential dual influence of technological features and individual traits. Through a 2 x 2 x 3 online experiment, a robot’s physical human-likeness, gender, and status were manipulated and individual differences in robot beliefs and personality traits were measured. The effects of robot traits on phobia were non-significant. Overall, subjective beliefs about what robots are, cultivated by media portrayals, whether they threaten human identity, are moral, and have agency were the strongest predictors of robophobia. Those with higher internal locus of control and neuroticism, and lower perceived technology competence, showed more robophobia. Implications for the socio-technical aspects of robots’ integration in work and society are discussed.



Author ORCID Identifier

Katy K. Mays: 0000-0002-8477-9634