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      The origins of religious disbelief

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      Trends in Cognitive Sciences
      Elsevier BV

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          On seeing human: a three-factor theory of anthropomorphism.

          Anthropomorphism describes the tendency to imbue the real or imagined behavior of nonhuman agents with humanlike characteristics, motivations, intentions, or emotions. Although surprisingly common, anthropomorphism is not invariant. This article describes a theory to explain when people are likely to anthropomorphize and when they are not, focused on three psychological determinants--the accessibility and applicability of anthropocentric knowledge (elicited agent knowledge), the motivation to explain and understand the behavior of other agents (effectance motivation), and the desire for social contact and affiliation (sociality motivation). This theory predicts that people are more likely to anthropomorphize when anthropocentric knowledge is accessible and applicable, when motivated to be effective social agents, and when lacking a sense of social connection to other humans. These factors help to explain why anthropomorphism is so variable; organize diverse research; and offer testable predictions about dispositional, situational, developmental, and cultural influences on anthropomorphism. Discussion addresses extensions of this theory into the specific psychological processes underlying anthropomorphism, applications of this theory into robotics and human-computer interaction, and the insights offered by this theory into the inverse process of dehumanization. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.
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            The evolution of prestige: freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission

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              Cultural learning

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Trends in Cognitive Sciences
                Trends in Cognitive Sciences
                Elsevier BV
                13646613
                January 2013
                January 2013
                : 17
                : 1
                : 20-25
                Article
                10.1016/j.tics.2012.11.006
                23246230
                3fa2c9f4-9614-4110-b6bd-0b948ec78ea6
                © 2013

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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