To conduct the study, researchers asked a field of 83 participants to read email responses to an ad for a housemate, which either contained no errors or had been altered to include typos or grammatical mistakes, like writing ‘teh’ instead of ‘the’, or mixing up ‘too/to’ and ‘it’s/its’.
The participants then judged the person behind the email based on their perceived intelligence, friendliness and a number of other attributes, including how good a housemate they might be. They then had to fill out a Big Five personality assessment about themselves, rating where they would be placed on a scale assessing various things like how open they were, and if they were more introverted or extroverted.
According to the results, extroverts were more likely to ignore mistakes than introverts, while the latter were more likely to notice the errors and pass a judgement on to the writer. Those who tested as being more conscientious and less open were found to be more sensitive to typos, and those with less agreeable personalities were more annoyed by grammatical errors.
As the researchers suggest, “Less agreeable participants showed more sensitivity to grams than participants high in agreeability, perhaps because less agreeable people are less tolerant of deviations from convention.”
They added that “more conscientious and less open people were sensitive to typos.”
So, just what can be gleaned from this study? If you find yourself having an adverse reaction to some typos on someone’s IG post, you might want to hold back on your comments and check yourself. The typos might say more about you than the person who posted them.