Trait Transference

I’ve been thinking about the theory of trait transference: The idea that if your friend tells you that their coworker is really lazy, you subconsciously also associate “lazy” with your friend.

The study is pretty old, but it feels true. I’m noticing more and more what people say about other people, and how it makes me think about their own character. And I’m being more careful when I talk about other people.

So here’s a little exercise: This week, when someone talks to you about someone else, and they say the person is lazy/lovely/ditzy/intelligent, do you think you’re subconsciously also applying that trait to the person speaking?


Leave a Reply