Research has shown that in Human-Human Interactions kinematic information reveals that competitive and cooperative intentions are perceivable and suggests the existence of a cooperation bias. The present study invokes the same question in a Human-Robot Interaction by investigating the relationship between the acceleration of a virtual robot within a virtual reality environment and the participants perception of the situation being cooperative or competitive by attempting to identify the social cues used for those perceptions. Five trials, which are mirrored, faster acceleration, slower acceleration, varied acceleration with a loss, and varied acceleration with a win, were experienced by the participant; randomized within two groups of five totaling in ten events. Results suggest that when the virtual robot's acceleration pattern were faster than the participant's acceleration the situation was perceived as more competitive. Additionally, results suggest that while the slower acceleration was perceived as more cooperative, the condition was not significantly different from mirrored acceleration. These results may indicate that there may be some kinematic information found in the faster accelerations that invoke stronger competitive perceptions whereas slower accelerations and mirrored acceleration may blend together during perception; furthermore, the models used in the slower acceleration conditions and the mirrored acceleration provide no single identifiable contributor towards perceived cooperativeness possibly due to a similar cooperative bias. These findings are used as a baseline for understanding movements that can be utilized in the design of better social robotic movements. These movements would improve the interactions between humans and these robots, ultimately improving the robot's ability to help during situations.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

McConnell, Daniel S.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences





Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date


Included in

Psychology Commons