2017 Volume 137 Issue 12 Pages 1625-1632
Humans tend to change their lexical expressions to resemble those used by their interlocutors to achieve smooth conversations. Such phenomena, called “lexical alignments,” are affected by gender. Even though lexical alignment is observed not only in human-human interaction but also in human-robot interaction, the gender effects on it in human-robot interaction haven't been investigated yet. Identifying whether gender affects lexical alignment in human-robot interaction would contribute to the design of conversational strategies for interactive robots for more natural interaction. This paper reveals that gender affects lexical alignment in human-robot interaction. We conducted an experiment with twenty participants who interacted with a robot in object reference conversations and referred to an object whose identity was confirmed by a robot. We developed a robotic system that engaged in object reference conversations with two interaction strategies and measured the gender effects on lexical alignment in human-robot interaction. Our experimental results showed that female participants were lexically more aligned with the robot than males; female participants used more references that were useful to uniquely identify objects in environments than males.