Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Kwan, V. S. Y., Johnson, K., Neel, B. and Cohen, A. B. 2010. Anthropomorphism. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of humanlike characteristics to real or imagined nonhuman agents. The word anthropomorphism derives from Greek and, literally translated, means humanlike (ánthrpos) in shape or form (morphos). In our daily lives, we do not have different languages to describe humans versus nonhumans. Therefore, humanlike characteristics are often used in a metaphorical sense to facilitate understanding (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). For example, we might say our car refuses to start, but this does not require that we actually think the car has ill intentions. Nevertheless, anthropomorphism may have important psychological and social ramifications. In some cases, anthropomorphic agents may be thought of as actual persons in the lives of those for whom they are real. These personified agents may be deemed to have rights, responsibilities, or the potential for social interactions.
- nonhumans agents;
- person perception;