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Small Talk With Strangers Can Help Understand People’s Personalities, Study Finds

Sometimes small talk seems boring and inconsequential, but it could help build relationships and improve future interactions, says University of Warwick researchers. 

Researchers evaluated 338 subjects in personality and cognitive tests before engaging in games. In addition, study participants (50%) participated in small talk before starting to play, with the other half diving straight into playing. 

Small talk is instrumental in making impressions. 

Findings indicated that the individuals engaging in small talk developed impressions of the other player’s personality, more so extraversion, which influenced behavior in subsequent interactions. It is important to note that physical interaction can help individuals make assumptions about the characters of the individuals they are interacting with. 

According to the findings, individuals who had previously interacted with one another had impressions of companions that seemed to impact their tactics throughout the games significantly.

For instance, throughout a game with cooperative and competitive components, some players chose to act more collaboratively if the opponent was more outgoing. Furthermore, when competing in games of guessing their opponent’s conduct, some players find it more challenging to outsmart their rival if they believe they have similar characteristics.

Do not disregard small talk in creating social relationships

The researchers stated that these results demonstrate the value of small chat, despite how unimportant this might appear. They continued by saying that brief and relatively insignificant conversations with others can help anticipate personalities better, notably in the context of subsequent discussions.

It is like men to categorize other individuals and things into good, evil, weak, strong, functional, and various groups. Individuals will make an impression based on explanations that fill gaps. As a result, an individual with excellent language skills and etiquette will likely make a great first impression.

This implies that individuals might generate opinions based on their brief understanding or lack of experience. Because of this, among other factors, individuals often acquire opinions about others based on their professions, some of which are considered honorable and others not.

Written by Payal Gupta

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