Under the Hood

Judging Grammar Mistakes A Sign Of Personality Problem? Study Explains

Happiness is when people supports you and appreciates or corrected your flaws in a nice way. Ouch! Did you just laugh after reading the first sentence? You noticed those words? Or your friend beside you did? 

Grammar Nazis are around the world, spreading their influence by correcting people who spit the wrong words. This group is known for constantly being bothered by grammatical errors.  

And a study shows that they might have some problems, which led them to having "less agreeable" personalities. Psychological testing reveals grammar Nazis are generally less open and prefer judging others for their mistakes, ScienceAlert reported.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, explored how a person's personality traits affect their response to typos and grammatical errors. 

"This is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the interpretation of language," Julie Boland, lead researcher from the University of Michigan, said. "In this experiment, we examined the social judgments that readers made about the writers."

For the study, Boland and her team asked 83 participants to read email responses to an ad for a housemate, which either contained no errors or grammatical mix-ups. They then individually judged the person who wrote the email based on their perceived intelligence, friendliness and other attributes, like how they treat their housemates.

After answering initial questions, the researchers provided participants with a Big Five personality assessment. They rated their openness, agreeableness, extraversion/introversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness. 

Results showed that all 83 participants considered the fictional housemates as worse than people with perfect spelling and grammar. The researchers separated the participants into groups to understand their personalities. 

Extraverts appeared more likely to overlook both grammar mix-ups and typos, while introverts were more likely to judge people negatively because of their errors. Those who were more conscientious but less open were more sensitive to typos, while the participants with less agreeable personalities got more upset by grammatical errors.

The researchers hope their findings would help future efforts to analyze and understand how people communicate or miscommunicate online.

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