Computationally Modeling Interpersonal Trust


Jin Joo Lee

Jin Joo Lee

JJ Lee, WB Knox, JB Wormwood, C Breazeal, D DeSteno (2013). Computationally Modeling Interpersonal Trust. Frontiers in Psychology.


We present a computational model capable of predicting—above human accuracy—the degree of trust a person has toward their novel partner by observing the trust-related nonverbal cues expressed in their social interaction. We summarize our prior work, in which we identify nonverbal cues that signal untrustworthy behavior and also demonstrate the human mind’s readiness to interpret those cues to assess the trustworthiness of a social robot. We demonstrate that domain knowledge gained from our prior work using human-subjects experiments, when incorporated into the feature engineering process, permits a computational model to outperform both human predictions and a baseline model built in naiveté of this domain knowledge. We then present the construction of hidden Markov models to investigate temporal relationships among the trust-related nonverbal cues. By interpreting the resulting learned structure, we observe that models built to emulate different levels of trust exhibit different sequences of nonverbal cues. From this observation, we derived sequence-based temporal features that further improve the accuracy of our computational model. Our multi-step research process presented in this paper combines the strength of experimental manipulation and machine learning to not only design a computational trust model but also to further our understanding of the dynamics of interpersonal trust. 

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