Words of encouragement: how praise delivered by a social robot changes children’s mindset for learning

Daniel P. Davison*, Frances M. Wijnen, Vicky Charisi, Jan van der Meij, Dennis Reidsma, Vanessa Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper describes a longitudinal study in which children could interact unsupervised and at their own initiative with a fully autonomous computer aided learning (CAL) system situated in their classroom. The focus of this study was to investigate how the mindset of children is affected when delivering effort-related praise through a social robot. We deployed two versions: a CAL system that delivered praise through headphones only, and an otherwise identical CAL system that was extended with a social robot to deliver the praise. A total of 44 children interacted repeatedly with the CAL system in two consecutive learning tasks over the course of approximately four months. Overall, the results show that the participating children experienced a significant change in mindset. The effort-related praise that was delivered by a social robot seemed to have had a positive effect on children’s mindset, compared to the regular CAL system where we did not see a significant effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-76
JournalJournal on multimodal user interfaces
Volume15
Early online date24 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Early childhood education
  • Inquiry learning
  • Mindset
  • Praise
  • Social robotics
  • Child-robot interaction

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