Faculty of Social Sciences
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Nijssen, Sari

Consequences of growing up in a technical world: the development and effects of anthropomorphizing non-human agents in early childhood
Electronic devices, such as computers and smart phones, are rapidly becoming an indispensable part of children’s daily lives. From early on, children possibly spend more time interacting with animated agents in smartphone applications or computer games, than they do with human peers. Do children represent these animated agents in the same way as other humans? How do such human/non-human interactions influence children’s real-life social behaviour? My project aims to answer these questions using reaction-time tasks, electroencephalography (EEG), and behavioural measures. We will focus on the common coding of perception and action, which is thought to provide an early (motor-level) foundation for attributing key aspects of ‘humanness’, such as agency and intentionality, to an interaction partner.

Prof. Rick van Baaren, dr. Barbara Müller