People tend to buy automobiles whose front of car grilles and headlights resemble their own faces, according to a new study by two Austrian researchers.
Studies have been done to show that people see cars' fronts like human faces and assign them personalities based on these "faces." This study goes a step further. People also tend to buy cars that look like they do.
The study, titled "Not only dogs resemble their owners, cars do, too" and printed in the Swiss Journal of Psychology, looked at black-and-white photos of 30 people and cars the owners bought themselves, not those received as gifts, prizes or driven as a company car.
Using these images, 2 researchers made up images with the car at the top and six possible owners, including the real one, beneath it. The images were handed out to over 150 people asked to rank the possible owners.
"The average person can detect a physical similarity in the 'faces' of cars and their owners," summed up research psychologist Jesse Bering in his evaluation of the study.
The researchers did another test, too, based on the results of a recent study that showed people can match owners to their dogs.
"Implied in these results is the startling fact most car owners are unwittingly purchasing cars that look like them," explains Bering. "To top it off, our dogs’ mug shots apparently bear an objective similarity to our cars’ 'faces' as well."
The study is the latest that shows we tend to treat cars like people not just because we give them names and pamper them. In 2012, research showed car enthusiasts use the same part of the brain to remember cars' looks as they do human faces.
Some Los Angeles car drivers disagree with this study. Robert Allen's LA commute is 14 miles and takes an hour from door to door says "My car is green and filthy - that doesn't look like me!"