This is a little bit alarming, don’t you think?
A study recently published in Science Robotics found that children are vulnerable to peer pressure exerted by “small humanoid robots” (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/08/15/robot-peer-pressure-is-coming/#.W3WU9s5Kj3h). It doesn’t even have to be from other kids.
The test, repeated on 43 different children, was to sit a child down with three “small humanoid robots” and ask, “Which of these lines is the same length as that one?” When the robots answered first and gave the wrong answer, so did the child–even though he could see, of course, which line was the same length as the other. Peer pressure applied by freakin’ robots trumped the testimony of the child’s own eyes 74% of the time.
It didn’t work on adults. Adults needed peer pressure from other human beings to get them to give the wrong answer.
Do we see in this experiment evidence that our children’s minds can be easily manipulated by whoever’s programming the robots, the TV shows, the smart phones, and the other gizmos?
Of course, we don’t need electronic doodads to accomplish this. The main lesson always taught by public schools, long before anybody had a robot, is that the most important people in your life are your age-group peers–and you’d better conform to them, or be considered an oddball: no friends, no dates. Family, schmamily, your “friends” are where it’s at.
It’s a good thing God has provided us with a Savior, because we need one. Let me count the ways!