Face to Face
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- Cite this article as:
- Windhager, S., Slice, D.E., Schaefer, K. et al. Hum Nat (2008) 19: 331. doi:10.1007/s12110-008-9047-z
Over evolutionary time, humans have developed a selective sensitivity to features in the human face that convey information on sex, age, emotions, and intentions. This ability might not only be applied to our conspecifics nowadays, but also to other living objects (i.e., animals) and even to artificial structures, such as cars. To investigate this possibility, we asked people to report the characteristics, emotions, personality traits, and attitudes they attribute to car fronts, and we used geometric morphometrics (GM) and multivariate statistical methods to determine and visualize the corresponding shape information. Automotive features and proportions are found to covary with trait perception in a manner similar to that found with human faces. Emerging analogies are discussed. This study should have implications for both our understanding of our prehistoric psyche and its interrelation with the modern world.