Prof. Fangyuan Chen

2023 UMagazine 28

Prof. Fangyuan Chen, Associate Professor in Marketing of the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA) of UM and member of the APAEM Smart Tourism Team, and Prof. Szu-chi Huang, Associate Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, published an article entitled “WALL-E vs. Reality: Why Disaster Response Robots Don’t Inspire Us” in the latest issue of UMagazine (Issue 28|Autumn/Winter 2023).

The article was based on a recent research study by Prof. Fangyuan Chen and Prof. Szu-chi Huang, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, entitled “Robots or humans for disaster response? Impact on consumer prosociality and possible explanations”, which explores the relationship between “hero” robots used in disaster response and human prosocial behavior. The study reveals that while robots doing dangerous jobs are seen as efficient helpers, they do not inspire people to step up and help others. In short, “hero” robots inadvertently diminish people’s human qualities. There are some solutions to this dilemma: 1) put people front and center; 2) highlight the efficiency of robots; 3) humanize robots to increase their autonomy and vulnerability.

Published biannually since 2009, UMagazine is one of the University of Macau’s official publications and aims to report innovative ideas and research breakthroughs of the University of Macau. It also showcases the latest developments and achievements of the university in teaching, research, and service.

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Excerpted from: 2023 UMagazine 28