Trait Transference

Consider this statement: “Alice says that Bob is lazy.” Is it better to summarize this as: “…Bob is lazy” or “Alice … is lazy”? The 2nd is very often better. Speakers mentions traits which reveal their own traits. What you say reveals your internal dialog.

So it’s with great amusement that I stumbled upon this paper. Trait Transference: Communicators take on the Qualities They Describe in Others. This paper makes a very similar argument, but the other way around. It argues that the dialog about others lays down the patterns that become the behaviors you yourself take on.

Who knows? Hard to run that controlled experiment! It’s a chicken and egg problem.

In either case, say nice things about other people – it will make you, or possible indicate you already are, a nicer person.

Meanwhile let me just say that you are very sexy!

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