Introverts find email errors more annoying
Do you become the “grammar police?” when reading emails? If yes, you could be an introvert, suggests new research that established a link between personality traits and reaction of typos and grammatical errors in emails.
Extroverted people are likely to overlook typos and grammatical errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person who makes such errors more negatively, said the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“This is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the interpretation of language,” said the study’s lead author Julie Boland, professor of linguistics and psychology at the University of Michigan in the US.
“In this experiment, we examined the social judgments that readers made about the writers,” Boland noted.
Eighty three participants read email responses to an ad for a housemate that either contained no errors or had been altered to include either typos, such as mkae (make) or abuot (about), or grammar errors, such as to/too, it’s/its or your/you’re.
They rated the email writers in terms of perceived intelligence, friendliness and other attributes, as well as provided information about themselves.
At the end of the experiment, participants were asked if they noticed any grammatical errors in the responses. If they answered “yes,” they indicated how much the errors bothered them.
As expected, participants who reported grammar being important at the beginning of the experiment were more likely to be bothered by grammatical errors at the end, study co-author Robin Queen from the University of Michigan said..
In addition, less agreeable people are more sensitive to grammatical errors, while more conscientious and less open people are sensitive to typos, the researchers said.