Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Children learn the art of flattery around 4

A joint Canadian-Chinese study indicates that children learn to tell social lies around age four:
They asked a group of preschool children ages 3 to 6 to rate drawings by children and adults they knew, as well as strangers. The preschoolers judged the artwork both when the artist was present, and when he or she was absent. The three-year-olds were completely honest, and remained consistent in their ratings; it didn’t matter who drew it, or whether the person was in the room. Five- and six-year-olds gave more flattering ratings when the artist was in front of them. They flattered both strangers and those they knew (although familiar people got a higher dose of praise). Among the four-year-olds, half the group displayed flattery while the other half did not. This supports the idea that age four is a key transitional period in children’s social understanding of the world."

Being a constant outlier, most things have never really applied to me.
Cute. I like what is suggested:
"...adults flatter for two reasons. It can be to show gratitude for some positive action in the past. As well, when they’re meeting someone for first time – someone who may turn out to be important for their advancement down the road – flattery is also used as an investment for future favourable treatment from the person.”

This doesn't apply to me.
Most advertising people are full of shit. As most ad people have no idea what they're doing it makes more sense to them to offer flattery for that future advancement down the road (although advancement is exchangeable with rescue) .
A more discernible individual can smell BS accurately and flattery is really not even on the cards. Better to offer them up to the wolves than waste time beating around the bush.

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