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October 15, 2006

Another reason to watch what you say

photo by nathancallahan/flickr.com

We've all heard that phrase "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Well, it turns out that advice isn't just good etiquette, it's good science. A paper (pdf) in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology lays out some recent research into Spontaneous Trait Transference. Put simply, it's the phenomenon where people are perceived as possessing a trait that they describe in others... tell your co-worker that your boss is lazy, and your co-worker will start to feel, perhaps subconsciously, that you're lazy too.

Conversely, tell someone good things about someone else, and the person you're talking to will start thinking a little bit better of you too.

(Thanks Tasty Research) (Photo: nathancallahan/flickr.com)

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at October 15, 2006 08:33 AM