89.1 WEMU

Grammar Police Influenced By Personality Traits

Apr 4, 2016

Do you ever read an email and miss the message because you're so busy noticing all the grammar mistakes?  A new study by University of Michigan linguistics experts found this behavior is partly the result of personality traits that include how people react to written errors.

I interviewed the chair of U of M's Department of Linguistics and co-author of the study Professor Robin Queen.

She and study co-author Julie Boland. a U -M professor of linguistics and psychology, conducted an experiment examining the social judgments that readers make about writers.

They concluded that less agreeable people are more sensitive to grammatical errors while more conscientious and less open people are sensitive to typos. The study also found extroverted people are likely to overlook typos and grammatical errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person makes such errors more negatively.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU.  You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter@LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu