Institute for Personal Robots in Education Blog

Reflecting on the survey results

On August 1st, my much worked on survey was finally closed and it was now time to analyze the results. I must say that a lot of the survey results paralleled with my hypotheses. These include people's agreements with the fact that robots do, in fact, make computer science more interesting; how only a small fraction of people's entire class would enroll in computer science when it was first offered and how over 90% of their classes were male; how one of the major reasons that women tend not to enroll in computer science courses is because they fine the environment uncomfortable etc. Sadly, I still look for the reason that women find this environment uncomfortable and many would say that the reason is because computer science is a male-dominated field, but why is the field male-dominated in the first place? The search remains...

One of my favorite questions on the survey was one that compared a simple white robot on wheels, the Gyro to a cute toy-like dinosaur robot, the Pleo. My guess here was that the younger generation would definitely lean more towards the Pleo and that the older, 30-39 year olds maybe would lean toward the Gyro just because of its simplicity or maybe their vast exposure in the field of computing may be affecting their thinking, however I was surprised to find that there was a 50-50 distribution in the preferences of the Pleo or the Gyro in both age groups. What was even more interesting was how two-thirds of the men preferred the Gyro and two-thirds of the women preferred the Pleo. Now, this is something definitely worth exploring, the women seem to lean toward a cute appearance a whole lot more than the men seem to. Will it, in fact make a dent in the statistics if there are different robots used for males and females? However, when the cute looking Nabaztag was compared with five different robots, it did not score high enough, therefore, is there something else that drives the women towards the Pleo other than just appearance? Many women also ranked the "hi-tech looking" Lego Mindstorm and the Surveyor over the much simpler looking Scribbler and this again conflicts with the results from the Pleo-Gyro question. What is it about the Mindstorm that is so appealing? Is it only the appearance of the dinosaur that makes it more popular among the women?

Why Women Might Be More Intrigued by the Dinosaur-Bot

Tue, 2007-09-18 12:47

It might be the life-like appearance of the Pleo Dinosaur robot that attracted more women to it. The physical appearance of Pleo also goes much behind the basic life-like requirements, as it's complete with a pudgy body covered in what seems like skin, a squashed-nose, and a slightly open (breathing?) mouth.

I'm not sure of the validity of the following claim, but it's been said many times before that women tend to be more 'social' beings than men. So a robot with eyes, nose, and mouth may seem more interactive for women than a suave-looking white cube on wheels.

Still another hypothesis would be the bright colors (luminous greens and yellows) of Pleo were more exciting to women than those of the black-and-white Gyro.

women always eye the attractive!!!!!!!!!

Fri, 2007-10-26 06:01
Annie manjuran (not verified)

hi, I dont at all think that computer science is only a man's feild. In today's world that too hypothetical to say that .
where as of course the dinosaur robot being more popular among women is only for the fact it was very very attractive & as women always go for the best no matter what it is the same here too....

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