Why Does Rude Behavior Really Bother Us So Much? | Trevor Foulk PhD

Rudeness is contagious, in a similar way to a virus. When experiencing a rude encounter, our brain perceives it like a threat. And once we’ve tuned in to this low-level threat, we’re more likely to notice it around us, and therefore more likely to display rude behavior ourselves.

Our guest on this episode is Dr Trevor Foulk PhD, Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the University of Maryland. His well published research on deviant workplace behaviors and workplace power dynamics, has been featured in Time magazine, Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

Trevor walks us through what rude behavior actually is, what our evolutionary response to it is and how we can take steps to mitigate the effects of it. We are also delighted to talk about Trevor’s research around the way power changes our behavior, and what impact a feeling of paranoia can add to the dynamics. And to Tim’s delight, Trevor also boosts our understanding of how music affects work performance.

Truth be told, our conversation with Trevor has opened our eyes into how rude behavior really impacts people. And in our Grooving Session, at the end of the episode, Kurt and Tim recap the ways Trevor’s research can improve our lives.

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(3:28) Welcome and speed round

(8:38) How rudeness is contagious.

(11:45) Why do we view rudeness as threatening?

(13:10) The solutions to rudeness.

(15:36) How our response to rudeness differs from holding a grudge.

(17:52) Are certain personality types more susceptible to rudeness?

(19:15) What effect does rudeness have on medical professionals?

(22:59) Can gratitude have the opposite effect to rudeness?

(24:27) How the Anchoring Effect is affected by rudeness.

(28:43) How does a feeling of power change our behavior?

(35:40) Paranoia and power.

(39:51) How does music influence performance?

(47:35) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing what we’ve learnt from Trevor’s interview.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

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AIRDATE: October 27, 2021 EPISODE 258

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Why Does Rude Behavior Really Bother Us So Much? | Trevor Foulk PhD