You Look Nice, but I Am Here to Negotiate: The Influence of Robot Appearance on Negotiation Dynamics

by Mehmet Onur Keskin, Selen Akay, Ayse Dogan, Berkecan Koçyigit, Junko Kanero and Reyhan Aydoğan


This report presents two experimental studies examining whether relatively subtle differences in the appearances of humanoid robots impact (1) the outcomes of human-robot negotiation (i.e., utility scores) and (2) the participant’s attitudes toward their robot negotiation partner. Study I compared Nao and Pepper, and Study II compared Nao and QT in identical negotiation settings. While the appearance of robots influenced the participant’s attitudes toward the robot before and after the negotiation, such differences were not manifested in the utility scores. The consistent utility scores across different robots reassure that minor variations in the visual characteristics of robots do not alter how users negotiate with a robot. Yet, as participants felt differently about the three robots, there remains the possibility that the differences in their appearances may influence the user’s initial inclination to approach each robot. As among the first to systematically investigate the influence of robot appearance on human-robot negotiations, this study emphasizes the importance of assessing both objective outcome scores and the subjective experience of the user in human-robot interaction (HRI) research and offers valuable insights for designing and implementing social robots in real-world settings including customer service and other AI-based interactions.

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  author       = {Mehmet Onur Keskin and
                  Selen Akay and
                  Ayse Dogan and
                  Berkecan Ko{\c{c}}yigit and
                  Junko Kanero and
                  Reyhan Aydogan},
  editor       = {Dan Grollman and
                  Elizabeth Broadbent and
                  Wendy Ju and
                  Harold Soh and
                  Tom Williams},
  title        = {You Look Nice, but {I} Am Here to Negotiate: The Influence of Robot
                  Appearance on Negotiation Dynamics},
  booktitle    = {Companion of the 2024 {ACM/IEEE} International Conference on Human-Robot
                  Interaction, {HRI} 2024, Boulder, CO, USA, March 11-15, 2024},
  pages        = {598--602},
  publisher    = {{ACM}},
  year         = {2024},
  url          = {},
  doi          = {10.1145/3610978.3640759},
  timestamp    = {Mon, 01 Apr 2024 11:14:14 +0200},
  biburl       = {},
  bibsource    = {dblp computer science bibliography,}