Flattery won’t get you everywhere after all! Unearned praise is not as effective as sincere plaudits if you want people to like you, experts say
- Compliments can also boost performance as much as being rewarded with cash
Everybody loves a compliment, but empty flattery will get you nowhere, scientists have found.
Researchers discovered that – whatever the old adage might say – unearned praise is not as effective as sincere plaudits when it comes to getting people to like you.
A team from Japan examined the brain activity of participants who received either genuine feedback or insincere flattery after performing a task – and found activity in parts which controls feelings of reward and pleasure was higher when the praise was deserved.
As an example of flattery, where a compliment does not necessarily reflect a person’s true qualities or abilities, they cited: ‘You’re the most intelligent person I have ever met, not to mention your charm, wit and good looks.’
While sincere praise might be: ‘This meal is delicious – it’s clear you put a lot of thought into it.’
Unearned praise is not as effective as sincere plaudits when it comes to getting people to like you
Writing in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the researchers from Tohoku University said: ‘Through functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured brain activity when healthy young participants received sincere praise or flattery after performing a visual search task. Higher activation was observed during sincere praise than during flattery…implying a rewarding effect of sincere praise.’
They added: ‘Sincere praise is a social reward, but the effect of flattery is controversial,’ explaining that the ‘reliability’ of the compliment is important. Previous research has indicated flattery has negative effects on how trustworthy someone is thought to be, as it is ‘unreliable’ feedback.
A separate team of researchers previously discovered that compliments can boost performance as much as being rewarded with cash.
Source: Read Full Article