Faces in objects are more likely to be perceived as young and male, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech 

From angry handbags to washing machines in distress, humans see faces in all sorts of inanimate objects – a peculiar phenomenon known as'face pareidolia'. Now, researchers in Maryland have found that these faces are more likely to perceived as young and male than old and female. The academics tested nearly 4,000 volunteers with photos to stimulate pareidolia, including images of an'alarmed' teapot, a'relaxed' potato and a'disgusted' green apple on a branch. Participants perceived illusory faces as having a specific emotional expression, age and gender, but they were mostly perceived as young and male by both men and women. Researchers weren't sure why this was, although it's possible humans are more prone to seeing men because we were more exposed to male faces during our earliest stages of development.