Guess the personality….


kr100_400New research from Florida State University has shown that people see human facial features in the front of automobiles and tend to agree about the personality traits that should be ascribed to the cars (thanks Heather). Want to help put it to the test?

It seems that people are very good at seeing faces in the front of cars, and therefore seeing the car as having a certain personality (press release about the research here). The headlights are perceived as eyes; the grille as mouth, etc. Certain configurations are then seen as looking especially friendly, dominant, etc..

But is this really true? To help find out, look at the picture below, and then select the ONE personality trait that you think best describes the car from the list shown in the poll. If we all tend to agree with one another then certain options should get far more votes than others.

Feel free to add your other ideas about the personality of the car in the comments box.

So, what’s the personality of this car…..



30 comments on “Guess the personality….

  1. Suspicious-minded, ungenerous, votes conservative.

  2. The Trizy Third says:

    And eats babies

  3. Jeffrey says:

    I’m not sure how anyone could think such an ugly hood was authoritarian.

  4. Mark says:

    To me, it looked oppressive. It’s “eyes” are angular, so maybe that’s what’s doing it?

  5. Kevin says:

    Forehead drawn back, squinty eyes looking down its long nose – supercilious, Authoritarian

  6. Lafayette says:

    I wanted “sly” but it wasn’t there.

  7. Ian says:

    Well usually a Veyron looks quite cool, but from the front…it looks like Darth Vader…

  8. Johanna says:

    Dominant and arrogant…

    And, like Margaret said, suspicious-minded.

  9. will says:

    where is the aggressive option. ?

    and i love the use of pareidolia, it is so interesting.

  10. Lux says:

    That hood! Dominant. The car carries someone who definitely sees driving as more than getting from A to B without engine problems.

  11. I would have gone for devious or even evil (it’s the headlight ‘eyes’ slanting towards the central grill which does it) but that doesn’t really fit any of the options. It reminds me of the were-car in Futurama!

  12. My impression is that it basically wants to be left in peace in the garage and not taken out anywhere. As long as you let it remain inactive you’ll probably find it a friendly enough companion, but try to drive it and it’s likely to become rather grumpy.

  13. Kelvin Kao says:

    This reminds me a lot of Autobots.

  14. Kevan says:

    I was also thinking “devious”; “authoritarian” was the nearest adjective to that.

  15. Leafy says:

    In my opinion, we relate the car’s “Facial Features” to similar faces we had encountered in the past, be it in real life or not. Then, the characteristic of that certain person the face was on became the personality of that similar face.

    Well, that’s only in my case, I don’t know about others.

    For me, honestly, the grilles looks like Hitler’s mustache and the eyes reminds me of Decepticons. Not autobots O:

  16. Anna says:

    Voted authoritarian… because the shape of the grill did not really look too smiley, the headlights were narrow and pretty straight forward, the long bonnet makes the car seem to have a long “nose” or bridge.

    Colour has an impact to. Silver is neat, sophisticated.


  17. EmilyT says:

    I chose “dominant” but I really wanted to pick “bad-tempered and thuggish”.

  18. Alison says:

    Voted dominant but I think the car has a bit of a complex. I think it’s pushy but only to hide the fact that it is secretly shy – the shape of the grill makes it look kind of uneasy to me.

  19. Ross Bagby says:

    My first impulse was “inscrutable” (those headlights and that grill ‘smile’ struck me as caricature Oriental), but since that wasn’t on the list I decided ‘authoritarian’ or ‘dominant’ conveyed at least the intimidating element.

  20. Fizzle says:

    I’m torn between smug and tired.

  21. Katherine says:

    Cunning is what immediately sprung to mind. Was unable to pick one from the list once I had thought that.

  22. That car looks sneaky to me. Someone said, “Sly.” That’s about the same thing. It looks kind of sheepish and seductive at the same time, like it’s trying to dream up ways to get in your pants….pocket.

  23. Andy Holroyd says:

    Dominant, as soon as I saw the options it just fit the ‘face’ spot on. It’s trying to put me down.

  24. Jf says:

    Aloof, for me.

  25. JFrank Anastasio says:

    I was thinking “snooty” but that wasn’t a choice.

    Chose authoritarian instead but considered Dominate.

  26. Angela Harpham says:

    Chose creative – shiny spoon reflects and distorts images – turn it over and the images change shape – can be used for a variety of purposes – checking out appearance – eating with – dry wet sticky – flicking jelly

  27. Quackers says:

    After speaking with a work colleague, we both realised we name our cars, like as if it were a person, but our boyfriends thought it weird.

    Do anyone else name their car? Any men?

    (my car’s name is Buzzby [pronounced buzzbee] because of a noise he makes while I drive it.)

  28. […] By Richard Wiseman A few posts ago I noted how people see faces and personalties in the front of cars.  This is a nice example of ‘pareidolia’ – the ascribing of meaning to vague and […]

  29. Honda says:

    I think the results are based on what people think the car will cost as well equating money with power.

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