Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are you a sucker or A Sugar?

Are you a trained salesperson or marketer or indeed pretty much anyone with so-called people skills? If so you've probably heard all about mimicking - you know, when you sit the same way as someone else or copy their language to try to create a bond. It's not always about selling, of course - counsellors might do it too.

So what? It's part of every day life now. Well, a 2009 research article I missed the first time round but saw in Wired found that people who do this - the mimickers - are far more easily fooled by the mimickees than non-mimickers. When you mimick you're less able to tell if the other person is telling you a lie or not. Generally we're all pretty hopeless at detecting lies but when you mimick you're even worse. In fact the study - You want to know the truth? from the journal Psychological Science - suggests that people's ability to detect deception is improved when they are given explicit instructions not to mimic.

So now you know. Are you a sucker for a lie? Is that the secret of Alan Sugar's success - a man who would never knowingly mimic anyone?

More about health at work on malehealth.

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