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Children will increasingly interact with sophisticated personified technologies, whether in formal or informal learning environments or their homes. Indeed, many of these technologies are specifically developed to interact with children as teachers or as personal assistants. A critical question that emerges is whether and how children will understand these interactive technologies. The current work supported by the UGP Small Grant sought to develop a line of research investigating children’s conceptions of one class of personified technologies – social robots – as as social others, as sophisticated technologies (but as objects nonetheless), or as somewhere in-between (what we have dubbed the New Ontological Category hypothesis; Kahn, Severson, & Ruckert, 2009; Severson & Carlson, 2010) – and the social and moral implications of children’s conceptions (e.g., Kahn, Kanda, Ishiguro, Freier, Severson, et al. 2012; Kahn, Kanda, Ishiguro, Gill, Ruckert, et al., 2012; Severson & Carlson, 2010).


© 2018 Rachel Severson