Do say "thank you": verbal expressions of politeness and gratitude influence interpersonal perceptions

2020-02-10T17:18:20Z (GMT) by Nicole M Percival Briony D Pulford
This study investigates how expressions of politeness and gratitude influence interpersonal perceptions of a job interviewee’s trustworthiness and personality. A pilot study disentangled politeness and gratitude ratings for phrases. Statements expressing politeness with high or low gratitude were selected and inserted into a job-interview transcript, with the female interviewee depicted as either the same age or 20 years older than the 136 participants. Results showed that, irrespective of the speaker’s perceived age, expressing politeness significantly improved the overall impression that the female interviewee made (likeable, friendly, employable and trustworthy) and did not reduce how assertive she appeared. Expressing higher gratitude reduced formality and increased friendliness ratings. We conclude that expressing politeness and gratitude impacts positively on perceptions of women, in line with Politeness Theory.