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This discussion paper considers the implications of the psychological phenomena of social facilitation effects for human-robot interaction (HRI) studies. Research studies in HRI have significantly increased over the past few years. Such studies investigate, for example, robot appearance and behaviour, and the responses of subjects to robots. However, the possible effects of the experimental context on results from human-robot interaction studies have attracted little attention. In this paper, we provide an overview of robot trials with children and adults, as part of the Cogniron project. Observations from video footage are reported, with particular consideration for the influence of the social context and social facilitation effects, including task complexity, evaluation context and type of presence on outcomes of human-robot interaction studies. Lessons learnt and future design implications for human-robot interaction studies are provided.