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Public PhD Defense of Raquel Oliveira - New Date

Raquel Oliveira, a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program in Psychology, will defend the thesis titled "Humor at first sight: The Role of Positive Humor in Human-Robot Interactions in Groups". The public defense is scheduled for May 16, 2024, 10:30 at room B327 (Building 4) of Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon.


Humor plays a pivotal role in our lives, influencing our well-being, our coping mechanisms for stress, and our perception of those around us. This thesis aimed to investigate how the introduction of verbal humor in interactions with social robots could enhance these interactions and foster greater acceptance of this technology. To achieve this objective, we followed a four-step approach. First, we conducted literature reviews on i) the use of humor in interactions between robots and humans (Chapter 5), ii) the role of hedonic variables in technology acceptance (Chapter 4), and iii) the relationship between humor and health (Chapter 3). Subsequently, we assessed the psychometric properties of relevant measurement tools, such as the Robotic Social Attributes Scale (RoSAS) and the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) (Chapter 6). In the third stage, we conducted an online study to evaluate how humor influences the perception and acceptance of social robots (Chapter 7). Finally, we conducted a laboratory study where participants interacted with social robots within the context of a humorous card game (Chapter 8). Our findings underscore the significance of humor in health and emphasize its relevance in the development of social robots. Additionally, we made contributions to the literature by adapting and evaluating humor and technology acceptance scales for Portuguese samples, exploring the characteristics of datasets of humorous written material, and creating a game for interactions between humans and social robots, which may prove valuable in future research endeavors.



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