Posts Tagged ‘Why we buy or don’t buy cars’

Cars with “friendly faces” could be the key to saving the American Auto industry

July 11th, 2009
Anger

Anger

MDX 2009
MDX 2009

In October of 2001 my husband, Phil, and I bought an Acura MDX.   We have loved it and the service at our Acura dealership has been great.  After logging 145,000 miles we figured we’d trade this one in for the 2009 model.

So off we went this week for a test drive. In eight years Acura has improved all of the things we already loved about this car. So why didn’t we drive it home? Phil summed it up, “I hate the new front grill. The car looks angry.”

Functional MRI (fMRI) studies have shown that we recognize cars and trucks with the same neural networks “brain modules” that we use to recognize human faces. Determining if an approaching person is friend or foe has been crucial for men and women since the beginning of time. Similar to a stranger approaching you on the sidewalk, cars move towards you on the roads. Norman Dodge, MD says in his book, The Brain that Changes Itself, “It is likely that the (brain’s) face module was most competitively suited to process these shapes–headlights are sufficiently like eyes, the hood like a nose, the grill like a mouth–so that the plastic brain, with a little training and structural alternation, could process a car with its facial recognition system.”

People express anger by pulling the brows slightly together, pushing the chin out and raising the eyelids, causing a glaring look.  Do you think the MDX is glaring at you?