Anthropomorphism – cognitive error or adaptation? – Anna Dutkowska

dr Anna Dutkowska
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II

Anthropomorphism is defined as the attribution of typically human mental and affective states to non-human objects: animate and non-living. In recent analyzes of the anthropomorphizing abilities occurring in adults and children, there is the thesis that “anthropomorphism is not based on specific belief systems, but rather on a specific modality of interaction” (G. Airenti 2018). In such interactions (or observations, which are subject to interaction), an inhuman being occupies a place that is usually attributed to another human being. This situation occurs regardless of the person’s beliefs about the characteristics of the individual who are anthropomorphized. Thus, anthropomorphism is a means to establish relationships with non-humans. With this assumption, anthropomorphism can be understood as the ability that appears in infants and persists throughout life, constituting a kind of evolutionary adaptation.

Anna Dutkowska