Pareidolia and design
Some definitions on the concept of pareidolia (a cousin of apophenia):
"Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) being mistakenly perceived as recognizable" (Explore Dictionary of Psychology)
"Pareidolia is a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct" (Skeptic's Dictionary)
The most recurrent example of pareidolia is certainly the jesus' face on grilled cheese, shrouds, ultrasound scan of a baby in the womb or even trees in LA.
Why do I blog this? I guess I am mesmerized by this concept, and its underlying cognitive basis: how human beings see pattern in objects (at some point it can be worse: Mistaking a House for a Face: Neural Correlates of Misperception in Healthy Humans.
Personally, I prefer when it's in technology that people are thinking about human's face (examples from here):
Does such a design make people more confortable using the artifact? What's the role of pareidolia in design?