They gave 166 undergraduates two standard psychological tests that assess the ‘big five‘ personality traits and emotional mood. They then showed each of the participants the same pattern of random dots and asked them to report and draw whatever shapes they saw in the dots.
Neurotic relating to neurosis, is someone who’s abnormally sensitive, obsessed and easily gets anxious, a mild unstable behavior that is not caused by organic disease.
Those who scored higher for neuroticism on the psychological tests were more likely to see faces in the dots, as well as seeing plants and animals. Women were more likely than men to see objects where there were none.
This is an example of pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon in which we perceive patterns in random data. We’re especially attuned to do it with faces. Those faces in the skies, or while eating, bread or toast?
Simply aghast pic.twitter.com/Cc5KfyWPuY
— Faces in Things (@FacesPics) April 6, 2016