The Applied Psychology and Autonomous Systems (ALPHAS) Lab

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Research in the Applied Psychology and Autonomous System Lab focuses on human interactions with robots, autonomous systems, and related technologies like augmented and virtual reality. In general we aim to make these systems better teammates, partners, and companions for people in the near future. The future vision of robots and autonomous agents is one in which such agents function as collaborative members of future human-robot teams. To meet this vision, robots will need to complement the skills of humans and engage in behaviors that resemble those employed in high performing human-human teams. We study how mechanisms that make human-human teams successful can be applied to future human-robot teams.

Our research backgrounds are diverse and we maintain active collaborations with researchers across departments, universities, government agencies, and commercial product companies. As such, lab members train to be strong interdisciplinary scientists.

We are also responsible for the curation and maintenance of the Anthro Anthropomorphic RoBOT (ABOT) database, a collection of images of and data about real-world human-like robots. ABOT was created as a resource to enable systematic, generalizable, and reproducible research on the psychological effects of robots’ human-like appearance and to answer questions about what it means for robots to be human-like. 

The lab is directed by Dr. Elizabeth Phillips and our members include Post-doctoral fellows, Doctoral, Masters, and undergraduate students and students completing the George Mason OSCAR program. If you have an interest in working in the lab, please see the interest form located on the Psychology Department website.

You can find recent publications from the lab on ResearchGate.