October 15, 2006
Another reason to watch what you say
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.
Posted by Chris Spurgeon at October 15, 2006 08:33 AM