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Psychology Glossary of Terms

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Anthropomorphism

Definition:
The practice of assigning human feelings and characteristics to animals and other non-human things.
 
Example:
The tribespeople believed the thunderbolts came because the clouds were angry. Freddie claimed that his car did not like him and for this reason it stalled frequently.

Alison claimed that her cat was jealous and therefore refused to eat her food.

 
Background:
Anthropomorphism is the practice of animating nature with human qualities. It occurs among primitive cultures and among these people it is often institutionalized in their religious belief systems. However, it also occurs in day-to-day life in advanced cultures, as when people attribute thoughts and cognitive processes to pet animals
 
Related Terms:
Animism (Greeks)

Self-Instructional Resources:
Take a 1-item self-test over this concept.

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