Stop with the ego-centric flame wars

Written by Wil Harris

February 14, 2006 | 10:08

Tags: #ego #flame #science #study

A new study published has given us some insight as to why the net is so full of flame-bait fanboys - it's all down to tone of voice and perception.

The study, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says that people could only correctly interpret the tone of a friend's writing 50% of the time. The other 50%, they made a mistake interpreting messages and took them the wrong way. This makes correct interpretation of a message no better than chance.

People tend to have an ego-centric view, according to the journal. This means that they find it hard to detach what they write from how they hear the words in their heads, and are unable to think about how others might read them. At the same time, people tend to read messages and interpret them depending on their current mood or feelings.

The combination of these two factors means that writing emails or posting on messageboards is really a hit and miss game. Go and take a look in the Serious Discussion forum - chances are, you'll misunderstand half the posts in there, if science is to be believed.

Think you could discuss this topic civily? Drop by the News Forum and let us know.
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