The clone devaluation effect: A new uncanny phenomenon concerning facial identity

Fumiya Yonemitsu, Kyoshiro Sasaki, Akihiko Gobara, Yuki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Technological advances in robotics have already produced robots that are indistinguishable from human beings. This technology is overcoming the uncanny valley, which refers to the unpleasant feelings that arise from humanoid robots that are similar in appearance to real humans to some extent. If humanoid robots with the same appearance are mass-produced and become commonplace, we may encounter circumstances in which people or humanlike products have faces with the exact same appearance in the future. This leads to the following question: what impressions do clones elicit? To respond to this question, we examined what impressions images of people with the same face (clone images) induce. In the six studies we conducted, we consistently reported that clone images elicited higher eeriness than individuals with different faces; we named this new phenomenon the clone devaluation effect. We found that the clone devaluation effect reflected the perceived improbability of facial duplication. Moreover, this phenomenon was related to distinguishableness of each face, the duplication of identity, the background scene in observing clone faces, and avoidance reactions based on disgust sensitivity. These findings suggest that the clone devaluation effect is a product of multiple processes related to memory, emotion, and face recognition systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254396
JournalPloS one
Issue number7 July
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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