Assigning human traits, attributes, emotions or agency to non-human things.

It is widely used in fairy tales, films, television, computer games etc. Eg.,Sonic the Hedgehog, a video game whose characters are anthropomorphic animals.


There are three factors that affect anthropomorphism:

  • Elicited agent knowledge, or the amount of prior knowledge held about an object and the extent to which that knowledge is called to mind.
  • Effectance, or the drive to interact with and understand one's environment.
  • Sociality, the need to establish social connections. When elicited agent knowledge is low and effectance and sociality are high, people are more likely to anthropomorphize.


Anthropomorphism can function as a strategy to cope with loneliness when other human connections are not available.