Reciprocity is a pervasive social norm sustaining human cooperation. Indeed, we are more willing to help others if they have helped us in the past. Does this principle apply also in the exchange of information between individuals? Are we more prone to change idea in favor of someone that has taken into consideration our opinions in the recent past? Disclosing this important component of human social behavior (i.e., reciprocity of social influence) would have crucial implications in the understanding of how collective knowledge is shared and accumulated within human societies and organizations.
We investigate the theme of reciprocity of social influence though interactive lab experiments. We also study the developmental trajectories of reciprocal social influence by exploring children’s reciprocal social influence during child-adult interaction, to understand when and how social dynamics emerge and start to influence learning and interactive behavior during childhood. Furthermore, we study if these phenomena emerge during interaction with humanoid social robots, with the final aim of designing robots able to act as reliable assistive and collaborative partners in our society.
Our findings that humans do reciprocate social influence while interacting with their peers and even in 10-year-old children during interaction with adults. Interestingly, reciprocity of social influence emerges also during interaction with humanoid social robots: this result stresses the importance of a bidirectional and “reciprocal” view of human-robot interaction that does not focus exclusively on robots’ appearance and capabilities but also on the relational dynamics intervening during interaction.
- Zonca, J., Folsø, A., & Sciutti, A. (2021). Dynamic modulation of social influence by indirect reciprocity. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-14. 10.1038/s41598-021-90656-y
- Zonca, J., Folsø, A., & Sciutti, A. (2021). I'm not a little kid anymore! Reciprocal social influence in child–adult interaction. Royal Society Open Science, 8(8), 202124. 10.1098/rsos.202124
- Zonca, J., Folsø, A., & Sciutti, A. (2021). The role of reciprocity in human-robot social influence. iScience, 24(12), 103424. 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103424