The anthropomorphic bias: How human thinking is prone to be self-referential.
Description of form
This working paper attempts a synthesis of contemporary research into anthropomorphic bias. It provides an explanatory distinction between the concept of anthropocentrism and the more specific applications of anthropomorphism, as well as a critique of existing anthropocentric concepts and theories. The paper enters into analysis of some of the philosophical assumptions behind the related concepts of anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism. It provides a critical survey of the current literature and makes the argument that anthropomorphic bias can be understood as an innate existential tendency of human embodied thought, thereby presenting a potential problem to the fields of the philosophy of science and embodied cognition, and to social scientific experimental design and interpretation. The paper is divided into eight sections dealing with selected areas of discussion of anthropomorphic bias, involving summary explanations of experimental situations and everyday life behaviours: (1) Anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism: Definitions, ontologies, problematics and reflections; (2) Anthropocentrism and ecology; (3) Deep anthropocentrism and counterenvironmentalism; (4) Anthropomorphism and human and animal differences; (5) Anthropomorphism and quantum physics; (6) Anthropomorphism and robotics; (7) The problem of anthropomorphism; and (8) Attitudinal solutions to anthropocentric bias involving new attitudes in scientific and everyday life behaviours. These areas of focus are chosen as they comprise the clearest categories of research for the concept of anthropocentrism at the current time.
Strongman, L. (2007). The anthropomorphic bias: How human thinking is prone to be self-referential (Working Papers No. 4-07). Lower Hutt, New Zealand: The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.