Do people like us better when we’re distracted?

Seems like it. It’s not that being distracted isn’t off-putting, but when distracted we’re less negative, less complex and more personal in our speech. We also encourage the other person to talk more.

From James Pennebaker’s book The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us:

distracted pairs actually showed slightly higher style matching than the non-distracted pair. Even odder, they tended to report liking each other more. In terms of actual word use, the distracted students were less negative, less complex, and more personal than non-distracted writers.

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Categories: Psychology, Research

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