10 Lab-Tested Ways to Bring Out the Best in People
The best of human nature—generosity, compassion, cooperation, selflessness—surfaced in these studies. Of course, the goal is to draw out a person's good side, not exploit it. Use your powers wisely.
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Discovery #9: Sweeten Your Vocabulary
Slip softer, soulful words into your everyday vocabulary (Facebook status, tweets, whatever) and your listeners may be friendlier without knowing why. In a study at Columbia University
, managers who were subliminally exposed to "cooperation" words ("mutual," "shared," "collaborator") were more likely to share knowledge and resources than those exposed to "competition" words ("winner," "loser," "opponent"). In another experiment, volunteers who unscrambled sentences using spiritual words ("God," "divine," "sacred") or social responsibility concepts ("civic," "jury") later gave more money to strangers than those exposed to neutral words. The concepts triggered associations that were acted out subconsciously.