Small talk reveals key personality traits: learning
While small talk can sometimes seem trivial or mundane, one study shows it can help people improve their future interactions with each other, especially in group settings. .
The UK study conducted by the University of Warwick recruited 338 participants to complete tests of both personality and cognitive ability before engaging in two strategy games with a partner. Half of the participants (168) had four minutes to chat with their partner before the game started while the other half (170) did not talk to each other first.
The results of this small study show that brief conversations made a difference in how participants perceived each other and impacted how much they would do while challenging with and against their partners. their.
Before the game took place, the participants were asked to predict what their partner said during the personality test and whether they believed they would cooperate or act selfishly during the game. . Those who participated in the previous conversation were more likely to correctly predict their partner’s personality, especially if they were extroverted or introverted.
In a game called ‘public goods’, participants are split £20 to contribute to a common pot. A typical sensible strategy for an individual player, the researchers say, is to contribute nothing in the hope that they will get money from their partner without having to contribute their own. However, previous small talk participants contributed 30% more than those who did not.
The study authors write in the journal PLOS One: “We found that, for players who engaged in small talk with their partner, cooperation in the offensive game increased when the opponent was playing. is said to be extroverted”.
The researchers hypothesized that participants believe their partners are more extroverted may be due to their bias in believing that their extroverted personalities are reflected on the people they meet.
The study authors write: “Perceptions of extraversion may be colored by an additional self-projecting bias that makes extroverts more likely to predict their extroversion or positively affect others. with which they interact.
In the second game, which measures competition between participants, players must ask the researchers an amount between 11 and 20 pounds. They were then asked to guess how much their partner asked for, and if they guessed one pound less, they were rewarded with extra money. The researchers found that people who described themselves as similar to their partners or similar to extroverts after engaging in conversation had trouble guessing how much money they were asking for.
Ultimately, the researchers say, while small interactions with each other may seem inconsequential, they have the potential to help us understand different personalities and improve our interactions.
“Through brief, seemingly trivial interactions with other people, we can better predict the personalities of the people we talk to,” the study authors said in a press release. thereby enhancing our performance when we interact with them in the future.