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Discover Magazine - Choose Your Words Wisely to Win a Negotiation

“I can’t pay you a cent more,” Boris tells Sophie, who’s trying to sell him a car. But Sophie stands firm. “You’ll just have to match my price,” she tells him.

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In isolation, such linguistic quirks are probably meaningless. But over the course of a conversation, they add up in telling ways, according to a new study led by Texas Tech University psychologist Molly Ireland. Though we’re seldom if ever aware of it, she argues, nuances of people’s language — such as their use of personal pronouns, articles or contractions, among many other linguistic choices — provide clues to their mental state or social status.

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