Why saying “Hello Kitty” may mean that you’re more intelligent than the average bear

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I don’t know about you, but I find myself naming inanimate objects all of the time. Usually pebbles and rocks (Henge lived in my wallet for about 30 years until I sadly lost him – see, he even had a gender)  I just like to think that maybe he went on to someone who needed him more.

I’m also quite happy for people to know that I sing to the meds that I have to take, encouraging them to work … Not to mention singing to my washing machine – well, it sings to me,  so it only seems polite – whatever, all I know is that it’s worked fine since someone who was sharing my house moved out, so I can only think it took umbrage with him, or maybe it just likes my singing.

So I was interested when I came across a theory that naming pets, house plants and cars can mean that you are actually more socially intelligent.

Anthropomorphization, to give it its technical term is far more widespread than you may think … All I have to do is say “Winnie the Pooh” or connect Stephen King with “Christine” and you start to see what I mean. We tend to do this to empower objects, sometimes because they have “faces” as in the photo at the top of this post, or simply because we feel some connection with them, even though they can’t actually communicate with us.

There is even a Twitter feed with more than 640,000 followers devoted to this phenomena.

Dr Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago believes that the reasons we do this are varied, but based on reasons like our brains being hardwired to identify faces to be able to tell the difference between friends and possible predatory foes.

In notable instances, people reported seeing “The face of Satan” after 9/11, an incident which was given more (or less depending on your viewpoint) credence by George Dubya Bush stating in an interview that night that “Today out nation saw Evil” … You have to admit, it’s quite impressive, even though it was later “rationally explained” by smoke science … Decide for yourself …

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Also, spend a little time thinking how you maybe speak to your car, be it angrily or encouragingly if you have mechanical problems …

Professor Epley’s theory is that the link between higher social intelligence and anthropomorphizing stems from the fact that the more often we humans engage with other minds, be they fellow humans or the kitchen sink, the more accurate and attuned we become to other people’s intentions, which in turn increases our level of social intelligence …

The same applies when it comes to magick – I would find it almost impossible to put together any spell working or blend an oil without singing to it as I work, or talking to the herbs and roots as I mix them together. It would feel like I hadn’t put any soul into it, and therein lies the magick. The most important thing you can ever put into your workings is intent and without that, you’ll never get the results that you could do just by connecting with whatever you’re trying to achieve.

And people always said I was cuckoo … Speaking of which, my clock needs a name…

Witchcraft

Pip de Belfry View All →

Writer and purveyor of the magickal arts.

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