Getting a Compliment Can Mess With Your Maths Ability, Study Shows


It's a double-edged sword - it's nice to get a compliment, but not when you're about to start an exam! The effect of that might just lower your test scores, according to Israeli-conducted research. 

According to research published on Science Alert, in one experiment, reported by study author Rotem Kahalon of Tel Aviv University, the researchers took 88 female Israeli university students, and when the women wrote about past situations in which they had received compliments, they actually scored slightly lower scores in a difficult maths test than those that didn't write anything.

After the second experiment, the team took 73 female and 75 male university students and made them take the same hard maths test after receiving - or not receiving - a compliment from a researcher of the opposite sex.

Although some of the students felt happier after the compliment, the test scores fell slightly - and this happened for both men and women.

It's the implications however that make an interesting point about how even something as benign as a compliment can affect the way we think.

"We believe it is important to raise the awareness of the public - teachers, professors, bosses and coworkers, and so forth - to the negative effects this kind of seemingly positive situation might have," said Kahalon.

The research was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Click here for the full story at Science Alert

Image source: Flickr

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