Small Talk

Humans Really Do Choose Saying Something Nice (Or Nothing at All)

While scrolling through an internet comment section or flipping on broadcast news might lead you to suspect otherwise, new research confirms a long-standing hypothesis that, in fact, positive language dominates human communication. The findings hold across languages, cultures, and contexts. Richard Lawson — who writes positive and, occasionally, negative things as the Hollywood columnist at Vanity Fair — tells us about the study, and reveals which language is most happy of all.

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Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images