Study shows that cars are perceived to have 'faces'



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MikeH106
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25 Jul 2009, 12:50 pm

As if the sad sockets weren't enough, a recent study finds that our culture seems to prefer mean-looking cars. Good God, when will the pain end?

Human Or Animal Faces Associated With At Least 90 Percent Of Cars By One-third Of Population

"The better the subjects liked a car, the more it bore shape characteristics corresponding to high values of what the authors termed 'power', indicating that both men and women like mature, dominant, masculine, arrogant, angry-looking cars."

A typical stroll in the parking lot reveals many of our cars to have what could be called bully-faces. As the human obsession with bringing pain unto the world continues, we discover that a benign conception like 'power' is being associated with personality traits that have essentially nothing to do with it, such as anger and arrogance.

Will our species ever become smart enough to turn the big sad face on humanity into a happy face? Only time will tell.

P.S. I also believe that 'God' is a conception of human cruelty.


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Aoi
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25 Jul 2009, 1:01 pm

I saw that study a while back and was puzzled by it. I never saw a face in a car, except when the car was a cartoon. I also never saw sockets as having facial expressions until I read the socket thread.

I am very literal, and abstraction like that just doesn't click at all in me. After reading the article a couple months back I looked at the fronts of many cars and just saw geometric configurations, and my math-loving mind started considering proportions and ratios, all within the confines of the functional properties inherent in the design of the front of a car.

Anyone else react the way I did? Or see the faces on cars?



Willard
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25 Jul 2009, 2:17 pm

If you put me in a focus group and showed me pictures of cars, I'm sure after a lifetime of seeing them anthropomorphized in cartoons, I could 'find' faces in them, but in RL, I'd consider entertaining the thought a waste of brain space. Never have I looked around me on the road or at a dealership and thought 'that car has a nice/mean/ interesting face'. They're just large chunks of sculpted metal, for Gods' sakes.



MikeH106
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25 Jul 2009, 2:50 pm

Yes, I miss the old days when I used to just love the math of everything. Maybe I'll eventually reach a phase of my life in which it will come back to me.

As for the mean ol' cars people like to buy, I think it's incredibly stupid. I'm not sure how much it matters in the end (a lot of stuff is piling up on me, you know) but I'd like to see little changes made here and there, and I think this is one of them.

Edit: I made another remark about the cars, but I didn't want to use the word 'stupid' twice, so I deleted it.


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southwestforests
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25 Jul 2009, 3:01 pm

I come from an aviation family and am a railroad fan - have seen "faces" in both those as well as automobiles.
There is a navy cartoonist Hank Caruso who does some cool drawings of aircraft with 'faces'.
Here's an example for as long as the page lasts Aerocatures

Trains like I see 'faces' in:
Baldwin diesel loco
and actually named 'baby face'
BLW "Baby Face" loco

Studies have shown that a lot of us humans are wired to find 'face shapes' wherever we see them.


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buryuntime
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25 Jul 2009, 6:01 pm

I see the faces in cars and other things. I just thought it was because faces are more common to see, than, say, a building...



exhausted
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25 Jul 2009, 6:06 pm

i've always seen faces in cars, but never really thought of them in terms of having actual expressions. that amuses me, for some reason. i don't understand the general preference for an "aggressive" look. kind of unsettling, in a way.

i wonder if there are any links between this and a tendency towards road rage. ex: the more "aggressive-looking" the car preference, the higher the tendency towards road rage(?)

i think it would be interesting to find that out.


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pakled
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25 Jul 2009, 6:18 pm

"hell, they all look like electric shavers to me - Sin City"

An-thro-po-morph-i-ca-shun - ...;)

I'm usually looking at the idiots driving them to make sure they don't take a short cut through my left bumper...;)



RainSong
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25 Jul 2009, 7:53 pm

I see eyes in them - the headlights, and depending on big they are is how the car seems to me. I don't like narrow ones, which don't seem nice.


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exhausted
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26 Jul 2009, 8:53 am

pakled wrote:
"hell, they all look like electric shavers to me - Sin City"

An-thro-po-morph-i-ca-shun - ...;)

I'm usually looking at the idiots driving them to make sure they don't take a short cut through my left bumper...;)


no doubt!



MikeH106
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28 Jul 2009, 1:14 pm

I guess it could also be to warn pedestrians and keep them alert while on the streets. I didn't think of that.

So... okay, maybe I was being a little unfair. The article didn't mention that, though.

I'll be waiting for the day transportation isn't dangerous. ;)


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theQuail
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28 Jul 2009, 4:41 pm

I've always seen faces and expressions on cars, and I've noticed that newer cars in particular seem to have smug or aggressive expressions. The face of my father's car (at least 10 years old, not made anymore or looks very different now) is particularly nice and agreeable-looking, I think. The headlights are rectangular and look like glasses, not evil slanted eyes like most cars. I can only guess why people prefer aggressive-looking cars... They appear more powerful, maybe?



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11 Sep 2009, 2:54 pm

I'll admit, when im looking at my car, i see the face of either a Viper (not the car model), a Cat, or a Shark. Its a 2001 Toyota Celica. To me, some cars seem to have the face, and some dont. I guess the more streamlined ones have a "predatory" face about them.



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