Age- and Gender-Based Differences in Children’s Interactions with a Gender-Matching Robot

Anara Sandygulova, Gregory M.P. O’Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Social robots are increasingly being used to encourage social, emotional and cognitive growth in children. However, in order to establish social and bonding interactions, social robots need to be able to exhibit adaptive strategies to keep children engaged and interested. Adaptive strategies of a social robot based on children’s age and gender are motivated by the comprehensive theory on gender development. Given the strong influence of gender in children’s cognitive development, the experiment first examined the responses of 107 children, ages 5–12, whether synthesized voice evokes gender associations in children. The results suggest that young children (ages 5–8) are not able to successfully attribute gender to the robot in correspondence with the synthesized voice. In addition, we explicitly investigated children’s preferences for the robot’s gender, and the results were contrary to our expectations: young children indicated their preference for a robot with a matching gender while there was no difference in preferences for a robot’s gender by older children (ages 9–12).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-700
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Adaptive strategies
  • Age
  • Child–robot interaction
  • Gender
  • Human–robot interaction
  • Social robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

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