It creates a big nuisance when people correct other people’s typos and think that they are not just pointing out flaws but they are doing them a favor. Among linguistics, this may flies in the face of conventional thinking as most of the academics tend to see the so-called grammar police as just a few ornery people. The science has proved that there is negative correlation between a person’s level of agreeableness and their likelihood of pointing out the mistakes.
The research carried out from the University of Michigan revealed that if you have some of the traits of pointing out errors in other people’s work, then it does not go well with your personality. For getting a better understanding of that, the research team 83 individuals through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to go through a batch of emails. The email messages contained some serious spelling mistakes.
These errors included ‘teh’ instead of ‘the’ and ‘its’ instead of ‘it’s’.
People were asked to judge after reading the emails regarding the friendliness, perceived intelligence, and other attributes of the sender.
One other question was asked involved the personality traits as extraversion, agreeability, neuroticism, openness, and conscientiousness. The participants were asked to spot any of the grammatical mistakes or typos and how much they got irritated because of this.
The results revealed that people who were extroverted tended not to pick up anyone’s mistakes. But it was done openly by the introvert people. This showed that extrovert, instead of separating one’s mistakes, were happier from their core self but the introverts, closely connected the two.
Although, the research was carried out among a small group of 83 people and it is not enough to draw a definitive conclusion, but it showed the personality trait of all such people who are keen on finding errors. The findings have implications for theories accounting for individual variation in language processing. It is now believed, that the researchers are on the right track as the reaction towards the grammar mistakes was better determined by personality type rather than age or educational background.
The article originally appeared on VT