Android science is an interdisciplinary framework for studying human interaction and cognition based on the premise that a very humanlike robot (that is, an android) can elicit human-directed social responses in human beings. The android's ability to elicit human-directed social responses enables researchers to employ an android in experiments with human participants as an apparatus that can be controlled more precisely than a human actor.
While mechanical-looking robots may be able to elicit social responses to some extent, a robot that looks and acts like a human being is in a better position to stand in for a human actor in social, psychological, cognitive, or neuroscientific experiments. This gives experiments with androids a level of ecological validity with respect to human interaction found lacking in experiments with mechanical-looking robots
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