Thursday, March 31, 2016

Agreeable extroverts don't care about your typos and grammatical errors

If researchers would just bother to look, they would find these kinds of personality-effect interactions all the time. Most researchers would be content with a study that only showed that typographical or grammatical errors negatively affected perception of potential housemates. They would miss that this effect is found only among introverts and low agreeableness individuals.

"The authors recruited 83 volunteers (on MTurk) and asked them to imagine that they’d placed an online ad looking for a new housemate. The volunteers were then asked to evaluate a set of 12 ‘response e-mails’, as if from people replying to their ad. Some of the responses contained errors. Each participant got shown one version of each email: either well-written, or with typos, or with grammos [i.e., grammatical errors] (not both.)
The results showed that both typos and grammos had a negative impact on how likely the participants would be to accept the sender of each email as a housemate. Typos had the larger effect.
Yet there were individual differences in the tolerance of errors, and Boland and Queen found that this correlates with personality. They had participants fill out a questionnaire measuring the “Big 5” or OCEAN personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Some traits were associated with more negative reactions to the errors. For instance, introverts tended to judge text with typos more harshly than extroverts. Less agreeable people took a harder line on grammos. These personality-error interaction effects were, in some cases, even larger than the overall effects of grammos."

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