Navigation Links
More reasons to be nice: It's less work for everyone
Date:3/9/2011

A polite act shows respect. But a new study of a common etiquetteholding a door for someonesuggests that courtesy may have a more practical, though unconscious, shared motivation: to reduce the work for those involved. The research, by Joseph P. Santamaria and David A. Rosenbaum of Pennsylvania State University, is the first to combine two fields of study ordinarily considered unrelated: altruism and motor control. It is to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"The way etiquette has been viewed by Emily Postthat you're being proper by following social codesis undoubtedly part of it," said psychology professor Rosenbaum. "Our insight is there is another contributor: the mental representation of other people's physical effort. Substantial research in the field of motor control shows that people are good at estimating how much effort they and others expend," Rosenbaum continued. "We realized that this concept could be extended to a shared-effort model of politeness."

The researchers videotaped people approaching and passing through the door of a university building. The tapes were analyzed for the relationships among several behaviors: Did the first person hold the door for a follower or followers and for how long? How did the likelihood of holding the door depend on the distance between the first person at the door and whomever followed?

"The most important result," Rosenbaum said, "was that when someone reached the door and two people followed, the first person at the door held the door longer than if only one person followed. The internal calculation on the part of the first arriver was, 'My altruism will benefit more people, so I'll hold the door longer.'"

Another finding: the followers who noticed the door-holder hastened their steps, helping to "fulfill the implicit pact" between themselves and the opener "to keep their joint effort below the sum of their individual door-opening efforts," the authors write.

A more common explanation of why we extend a physical gesture of courtesy is what the researchers term the "critical distance" model: we do something for someone if she is simply near enough. But the researchers found that model insufficient. "We need a way of describing why there is a change of probability" both of doing the task and of expending more time at it, said Rosenbaum. Is the critical distance 10 feet? Why not 50 feet? What is "near enough?" And why wait longer if more people are following? "You still come back to the question of what the individuals are trying to achieve."

Rosenbaum sees the shared-effort model as enhancing, not detracting from, our appreciation of good manners: "Here are people who will probably never see each other again," he says, "but in this fleeting interaction, they reduce each others' effort. This small gesture is uplifting for society."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tiffany Harrington
tharrington@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. A Thousand New Reasons to Love Uni K Wax Centers Earn 5,000 Points for Referring A Friend New Rewards Program and New Centers
2. Study examines reasons patients with early stage lung cancer do not have surgery
3. Studies of womens attitudes to social egg freezing find reasons differ with age
4. Study Examines Reasons Some Black Men Avoid Doctors
5. Virtually Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot: CDC
6. Cat-calls are detrimental to everyone
7. Go to Play Every Day & Call it Work: Finally-The Book to Get the Best Jobs For Everyone
8. Guided Meditation Made Available to Everyone for Stress Awareness Month
9. Everyone Counts: Quality Data Essential to Improving People's Lives, Says UNFPA
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... miniature, folded, pharmaceutical inserts and outserts. As a means of expanding capabilities ... addition will enable Flottman to individually code professional inserts (PIs) and patient package ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) is recommending the film Whispering Spirits ... and the District of Columbia as an education tool in the war against teen ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... An inventor from Cana, Va., wanted ... all types of amusement park rides. , The patent-pending SAFETY STRAP FOR AMPUTEES improves ... use and could be set up in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 09, 2016 , ... The Holy Name Medical Center Foundation ... on December 3rd, to benefit Holy Name Medical Center's programs and services. More ... over $1 million - the largest event in the Center's history, both in ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... "I had a terrible time trying to get ... thought that if the nebulizer had a more child-friendly design, then children would be ... developed the patent-pending NEBY to avoid the need to deliver medication via a nebulizer ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Australia Glaucoma Surgery Devices Market Outlook to ... Glaucoma Surgery Devices Market Outlook to 2022", provides ... Devices market. The report provides value, in millions ... prices (USD) within market segement - Glaucoma Drainage ... and distribution shares data for each of these ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 KEY FINDINGS The global ... 2017-2023. Various reasons for growth of the medical lifting ... of chronic diseases, high recovery cost of injuries and ... Medical lifting sling refers to an assistive device that ... slings connect to the lift and hold the patient. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) today ... at the 9 th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer,s ... meet the primary endpoint in the EXPEDITION3 clinical trial, ... dementia due to Alzheimer,s disease (AD), and Lilly will ... of mild dementia due to AD. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: