October 15, 2013
“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.
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.