JAN 22, 2016 12:28 PM PST

Rudeness Is Infectious, and You Aren

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

We know that some human emotions, like laughter and sadness, are infectious. But new research in human behaviors also shows that rudeness is as contagious, and can even spread like a disease.

The consequences of negative behaviors have been commonly studied in the workplace. In the work environment, researchers have observed that people tend to imitate the behaviors of others. For rude behaviors, this can easily spiral out of control and affect everyone, top to bottom. Unsurprisingly, rudeness at work engenders more conflicts while reducing work satisfaction, efficiency, and loyalty.

But does this mean that our negative actions and behaviors are sometimes not a fault of our own? This may be the case in some circumstances. However, awareness of the contagiousness of rudeness can be a powerful antidote to stopping the spread of the misery.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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