Vocablet of the Day: Predispose

Gossip can cause us to make judgments about people we don’t know, even in the most surprising ways.

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When you hear negative things about a person before you meet them, you’ve already been caused to more likely behave in a certain way toward them, but that’s not all.

Bad-mouthing someone behind their back might predispose your listener to think that person is ugly -- inside and out!

Spreading gossip is bad for many reasons, but a new study shows that it can do more harm than you might think.  Not only does gossip predispose us to think badly of someone’s personality before we know them, it can also make us think they are physically less attractive!

Imagine someone told you that your new coworker (who you hadn’t met yet) was mean and selfish.  When you meet him, you might be predisposed to think that he is uglier than you would have thought if you’d been told he was kind and generous.

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