What will the robot do?: A psychological, philosophical, and technological study on children’s attribution of free will
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This paper addressed the free will problem and attitudes towards robotics in order to address folk conceptions of free will. This paper specifically tested children’s attribution of free will to a child and to a humanoid robot. The goal of this research was to demonstrate that children are compatibilist in their free will beliefs and so they can attribute free will to a determined agent (i.e. a robot). We hypothesized that children will attribute free will to the robot but significantly less than to a child. Results indicated that children attribute similar attributions of choice to both the robot and the child, which does not support our hypothesis. This does, however, demonstrate that children can attribute some level of choice to a robot and may be an indication of attribution of free will. These findings vary depending on the scenario the agent was in, demonstrating that free will beliefs are more nuanced than laypeople believe. Implications of free will attribution and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2018
- F&M Theses Collection