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In this paper, I investigate interpersonal variation in verbal HRI with respect to the computers-as-social-actors hypothesis. The analysis of a corpus of verbal human-robot interactions shows that only a subgroup of the users treat the robot as a social actor. Thus, taking interpersonal variation into account reveals that not all users transfer social behaviors from human interactions into HRI. This casts doubts on the suggestion that the social responses to computers and robots reported on previously are due to mindlessness. At the same time, participants' understanding of robots as social or non-social actors can be shown to have a considerable influence on their linguistic behavior throughout the dialogs.