People, Places, and Things
“UH OH, THE POOR CHAIR has lost its ball and doesn’t want anyone to know.” To me, the most interesting thing about the chair in figure 5.1
is that my reaction upon viewing “the poor chair” is perfectly sensible. Certainly I don’t believe the chair is animate, that it has a brain, let alone feelings and beliefs. Yet there it is, clearly sneaking out its foot, hoping nobody will notice. What is going on?
This is an example of our tendency to read emotional responses into anything, animate or not. We are social creatures, biologically prepared to interact with others, and the nature of that interaction depends very much on our ability to understand another’s mood. Facial expressions and body language are ...