What is anthropomorphism?

Do you really know?

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What is anthropomorphism?

Do you really know?

What is anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism means transferring human forms or emotions onto animals and other non-human entities. It has its origins in ancient mythology, where deities were often represented with human forms and qualities. Think of many ancient Roman or Greek gods; when they weren’t fighting battles on horseback, they were at home falling in love, getting married and having children. Even in the Bible, Genesis talks about God creating humankind in his own image. 

Over time, the use of anthropomorphism has become more linked to animals. We use personal pronouns like “he” or “she” to refer to pets, and like to imagine how our furry friends are feeling, in a range of situations. We might say a dog is smiling when it bears its teeth, or that a cat is bored because it doesn’t react to our attempts to get its attention.

The trend grew bigger and bigger with the explosion of social media. Everywhere you look online, you see photos and videos of cats, dogs, and almost any kind of animal. These pictures give us the impression that animals love, think and live in the same way that we humans do. The Buzzfeed Animals Facebook page has amassed more than 4 million fans and counting.

The idea that animals have emotions and free will is seen by some as being unscientifically sentimental, or showing a lack of objectivity.

And anthropomorphism isn’t just limited to living things - it can apply to inanimate objects too. Marketing studies have shown that products which resemble a human schema in some way are seen more positively by potential buyers. That could be the front of a car appearing similar to a human face, for example. 

Robots are also seen to be more trustworthy and competent when they have a face, voice and name, like humans do.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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What is anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism means transferring human forms or emotions onto animals and other non-human entities. It has its origins in ancient mythology, where deities were often represented with human forms and qualities. Think of many ancient Roman or Greek gods; when they weren’t fighting battles on horseback, they were at home falling in love, getting married and having children. Even in the Bible, Genesis talks about God creating humankind in his own image. 

Over time, the use of anthropomorphism has become more linked to animals. We use personal pronouns like “he” or “she” to refer to pets, and like to imagine how our furry friends are feeling, in a range of situations. We might say a dog is smiling when it bears its teeth, or that a cat is bored because it doesn’t react to our attempts to get its attention.

The trend grew bigger and bigger with the explosion of social media. Everywhere you look online, you see photos and videos of cats, dogs, and almost any kind of animal. These pictures give us the impression that animals love, think and live in the same way that we humans do. The Buzzfeed Animals Facebook page has amassed more than 4 million fans and counting.

The idea that animals have emotions and free will is seen by some as being unscientifically sentimental, or showing a lack of objectivity.

And anthropomorphism isn’t just limited to living things - it can apply to inanimate objects too. Marketing studies have shown that products which resemble a human schema in some way are seen more positively by potential buyers. That could be the front of a car appearing similar to a human face, for example. 

Robots are also seen to be more trustworthy and competent when they have a face, voice and name, like humans do.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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