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20% of people name their cars.

If you cruise around town in a ride dubbed something like Stella or Big Red, you’re not alone; a survey by marketing firm DMEautomotive found that one-fifth of drivers play the name game with their wheels. According to Adam Waytz, a Northwestern University psychologist who studies why we anthropomorphize objects, we tend to think our autos resemble us—just look at the smile on that grille!—so naming them is only natural. It also helps us make better sense of how they work. “We see cars as humanlike because that provides an understandable framework,” Waytz says. So next time you get a flat, forgo angry epithets, and call your car by its “real” name. It’ll be humanizing—for both of you. 



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