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A 40,000 year-old carving of a lion with human traits.

Anthropomorphism is making something that is not a human.

This can mean making the thing shaped more like a human. It can mean giving it human traits, emotions, and intentions. It is often used in stories and art. The thing of objection may be an animal and plant.

The story of the "Three Little Pigs" has a wolf and pigs who talk and act like humans. Mickey Mouse also talks and acts like a human. These are examples of a type of anthropomorphism called furry.

The novel The Call of the Wild also uses anthropomorphism. The main character is a dog named Buck. Many other characters are dogs and wolves. In the story, the animals think and act more like humans than real dogs do.

Reasons for anthropomorphism[change | change source]

Humans are good at knowing why other humans do things. Humans are usually not as good at knowing why non-human things also do things. This can lead to people assuming non-human things will act or think like humans. This is the reason why stories and art featuring animals and plants that shows them as human-like.

Another reason is that humans easily relate to characters who look human, but having them look like different animals makes them easy to tell apart. This is why stories and art have anthropomorphic animals as people.

Anthropomorphism can happen by mistake too. Scientists have to be careful not to assume the things they are studying will act or think like humans. Doing that can stop them from better understanding what they are studying.

Related pages[change | change source]

  • Furry - Anthropomorphism where animals are shown as human-like in stories and art.