Trait Anthropomorphism Predicts Ascribing Human Traits to Upright But Not Inverted Chimpanzee Faces

The ascription of humanlike qualities to non-human stimuli (i.e., anthropomorphism) is a well-established phenomenon. To date, most research has examined top-down factors that motivate anthropomorphism, including individual differences in the tendency to project humanity onto nonhuman objects. However, recent evidence suggests that configural face processing provides a bottom-up perceptual cue for a target's humanness. In the current work, we link these recent findings on bottom-up perceptual cues of humanness to the well-established literature on anthropomorphism. In three studies, participants rated a series of chimpanzee faces on a variety of traits typically considered distinctly human, while manipulating whether the faces were viewed upright or inverted. Collectively, we found an interaction between individual differences in trait anthropomorphism and face orientation. Anthropomorphic beliefs positively predicted ascribing humanlike traits to upright chimpanzee faces but this effect was diminished by face inversion. These results show that disrupting configural face processing via inversion interferes with anthropomorphism. Read More:

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Jul 10 2019
Social Cognition

Note: The file is under embargo until: 2019-12-31

 Record created 2019-07-10, last modified 2019-07-12

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