Sunday, April 22, 2018 | ePaper

Personality traits are contagious

  • Print


Life Desk :
People unconsciously tend to imitate the prudent, impatient or lazy attitudes of others, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology.
 "Prudence", "impatience" and "laziness" are typically thought of as entrenched personality traits that guide how people weigh the cost of risk, delay and effort, respectively. However, new research shows that people's attitudes towards effort, delay, or risk drift towards those of others.
'A person's attitude towards effort, delay, or risk drifts towards others personality traits.'
Jean Daunizeau and Marie Devaine, from INSERM, Paris, combined mathematical modelling and cognitive psychology to explore the laws that govern such attitude alignment.
The authors asked 56 participants to make a series of decisions involving risks, delays or efforts, both before and after having observed the decisions of fictitious participants (in fact: artificial intelligence algorithms) whose prudent, patient and lazy attitudes were sensibly calibrated.
The study results show that participants are bound to a "false-consensus" bias, i.e. they believe without evidence that the attitudes of others resemble their own. It also shows that people exhibit a "social influence" bias, i.e. their attitude tends to become more similar to those of people around them.
Intriguingly, the social influence bias is partially determined by the false-consensus bias. In brief, it first increases with false-consensus (for small false-consensus biases), but then decreases with false-consensus (for large false-consensus biases). Note that participants seem to be mostly unaware of these biases.
Critically, mathematical simulations demonstrate that both biases, and the surprising interaction between them, are hallmarks of a unique mechanism that is ideally suited to learning both about and from others' covert attitudes.
This is at odds with the conventional view that attitude alignment is an automatism that is triggered by the need to experience (partly deluded) feelings of social conformity.
"Our work is in line with an ongoing effort tending toward a computational (i.e. quantitative and refutable) understanding of human and animal cognition. In particular, we showed that formal information and decision theories provide invaluable insights regarding the nature and relationship of puzzling biases of social cognition," say the researchers.
The authors are currently applying this work to assess whether this form of attitude alignment may differ in people suffering from neuropsychiatric conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.
Source: Eurekalert

More News For this Category

Beat cyber crime

We are stepping into a new era, an era of digitalization. But little do we know, in the disguise of this big revolution the basic values of humanity are

Exercise before pregnancy

Exercise before pregnancy

Life Desk :Expectant mothers who are more fit before pregnancy are at lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, a study suggests. Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women

 Dialysis facilities at Madaripur

Dialysis facilities at Madaripur

Life Desk :To spread treatment facility for the kidney patients to the different parts of the country the  Kidney Awareness Monitoring and Prevention Society (KAMPS) on Friday opened  a

Remembering Debabrata Biswas in Dhaka

Remembering Debabrata Biswas in Dhaka

Arun Kanti Chatterjee :We are the same souls and share the same artistic, literary and cultural legacies. This was again reinforced in a cultural meet when eminent persons and

Mothers from age 40 at risk of preterm birth

Life Desk :The researchers noted an association between preterm birth and mother's age and stated that the maternal age at pregnancy has been increasing worldwide and so has the

Magical space for children

Magical space for children

Life Desk :Transform your child's space into a delightfully dreamy abode replete with playful splashes of colour and chic furniture to inspire imaginative little minds.Some tips and tricks to

Cheaters perceived as less competent

Cheaters perceived as less competent

Life Desk  :People who commit moral transgression like cheating and shoplifting are viewed as less able to do their jobs or complete tasks effectively and low in social intelligence

Grapes to ward off depression

Grapes to ward off depression

Life Desk  :Including grapes in your diet may have a positive impact on your mental health as researchers have found that certain grape-derived compounds might be developed as therapeutic

Fashion trends to lookout for in 2018

Fashion trends to lookout for in 2018

Life Desk  :Stock your wardrobe with fringes, clothes in pastel shades and athleisure outfits to make a fashionable statement in 2018, say experts.Sanhita Dasgupta, Myntra Fashion Expert, and Neha

Breastfeeding secrets

Breastfeeding secrets

Life Desk  :Breastfeeding seems to be a most natural process, but to some, it may be a challenge. Be patient and feed often, say experts.Mimansa Malhotra (PT), Lactation Consultant