Members in the Media
From: The Windsor Star

The risks of politeness: It has its place only to a point

The Windsor Star:

Dr. Aidan Feeney has a few thoughts about politeness. Essentially, he thinks it has the ability to cost lives.

“The more serious the situation, the more likely you are to be polite and the more room there is for confusion,” says Feeney, a professor at the school of psychology at Queen’s University, Belfast, and co-author of a new paper entitled The Risk of Polite Misunderstanding, published last week by the Association of Psychological Science. “We’re motivated to protect the face of the people we’re speaking with, but when delivering bad news, or explaining a grave situation, a lack of bluntness makes a high-stakes situation much more grave.”

Feeney and his cohorts – who include Wim De Neys and Jean-Francois Bonnefon, a professor who has spent almost a decade researching politeness at the Universite de Toulouse in Bonnefont, France – are not out to incite a wave of rudeness, though. Feeney says a little politeness in everyday society is just fine.

Read the full story: The Windsor Star

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