The Power of Words

In 1946, Solomon Asch performed a study in which he asked subjects to form an impression of a person that they did not know based on seven adjectives. 

One group saw the words intelligent, determined, skillful, practical, industrious, cautious, and warm. The other group saw the words intelligent, determined, skillful, practical, industrious, cautious, and cold.

91% of the group who saw the list ending with the word ‘warm’ thought the person was likely to be generous while only 8% of the group who saw the list ending with the word ‘cold’ thought the person was likely to be generous. They also thought that the ‘warm’ person would be more than likely to have a good sense of humor and other positive qualities.

In 1950, four years later, Harold Kelley took the information from the Solomon Asch Study and performed additional experiments. He gave a class of students a paragraph-sized description of a visiting lecturer. Half of the students received a description that listed his technical qualifications then noted at the end that he was considered a very ‘warm’ person. The other half of the students received the same description, but with an ending that said that he was considered a rather ‘cold’ person. 

The lecturer gave the same talk to all the students. Those who had the word ‘warm’ in their description were more likely to ask questions and interact with the lecturer. The students with the word ‘cold’ in their descriptions rated the lecturer as aloof and unsociable. Only 32% of the students with the ‘cold’ lecturer said they wanted to ask him a question or interact with him, while 56% of the students with the ‘warm’ lecturer said they wanted to ask him a question or interact with him.

Yes, the words that we use to describe others have a great impact on the way that they’re perceived. And, in the same way, the words that we use to describe ourselves have a great impact on the way that others view us. If you want to influence people, make sure to let others know that you’re ‘warm’. Make sure that they know that you’re not ‘cold’. Make sure to envision yourself as a ‘warm’ person and not a ‘cold’ person.

Of course, my assumption is that you want to influence others because this is what winners do, and you are a winner, and given enough time, you WILL win! Yes, you ARE a winner! 

 
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Full Transcript:

Hi, this is Don Howe, and the topic for this Golden Nugget is “The Power of Words”.

In 1946, Solomon Asch performed a study in which he asked subjects to form an impression of a person that they did not know based on seven adjectives. 

One group saw the words intelligent, determined, skillful, practical, industrious, cautious, and warm. The other group saw the words intelligent, determined, skillful, practical, industrious, cautious, and cold.

91% of the group who saw the list ending with the word ‘warm’ thought the person was likely to be generous while only 8% of the group who saw the list ending with the word ‘cold’ thought the person was likely to be generous. They also thought that the ‘warm’ person would be more than likely to have a good sense of humor and other positive qualities.

In 1950, four years later, Harold Kelley took the information from the Solomon Asch Study and performed additional experiments. He gave a class of students a paragraph-sized description of a visiting lecturer. Half of the students received a description that listed his technical qualifications then noted at the end that he was considered a very ‘warm’ person. The other half of the students received the same description, but with an ending that said that he was considered a rather ‘cold’ person. 

The lecturer gave the same talk to all the students. Those who had the word ‘warm’ in their description were more likely to ask questions and interact with the lecturer. The students with the word ‘cold’ in their descriptions rated the lecturer as aloof and unsociable. Only 32% of the students with the ‘cold’ lecturer said they wanted to ask him a question or interact with him, while 56% of the students with the ‘warm’ lecturer said they wanted to ask him a question or interact with him.

Yes, the words that we use to describe others have a great impact on the way that they’re perceived. And, in the same way, the words that we use to describe ourselves have a great impact on the way that others view us. If you want to influence people, make sure to let others know that you’re ‘warm’. Make sure that they know that you’re not ‘cold’. Make sure to envision yourself as a ‘warm’ person and not a ‘cold’ person.

Of course, my assumption is that you want to influence others because this is what winners do, and you are a winner, and given enough time, you WILL win! Yes, you ARE a winner! 

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