Animism, Perception, and the Effort after Meaning
as seen from Stuart Elliott Guthrie, author of Faces in the Clouds.

"A couple of times I pulled up to a mail box thinking it was a rider.  It's happened to all of us."
- New York taxi driver

Guthrie notes that animism can refer to several uses.  In religion studies, it means belief in spirit. In psychology and in the broader sense it refers to attributing life to the lifeless.  We often animate and anthropomorphize (the attribution of human characteristics to non human things or events) at the same time.

"Evidence of anthropomorphism in perception, and reasons for it, come from artificial intelligence, from psychoanalysis, from experimental, clinical, and developmental psychology, and from ethnography" (Guthrie 1993: 91).

"We anthropomorphize animals at least as much as computers. We involuntarily attribute personality traits, for example, to animals with postures or physiognomies resembling human gestures. Thus camels appear arrogant or aloof because they carry their noses high and eagles appear proud and decisive for the same reason, and because a bony ridge above the eyes resembles gathered brows. Dolphins appear friendly because the corners of their mouths seem raised in a smile" (ibid: 93). 
Voog. Make a website.