We often cringe after conversations, convinced we made a bad impression. But research says we may be more likeable than we think.
You might expect gender differences in the results, but – at least for the platonic relationships that they have been investigating – Boothby and Cooney’s research suggests that the liking gap is equally important for men and women.
Their latest paper, published earlier this year, looked at the liking gap in groups, including teams of engineers. They found that the phenomenon is just as present in group meetings as it is in one-on-one conversations – with the participants consistently underestimating how much their teammates liked them. And that seemed to have important consequences for the workplace. The greater the liking gap between someone and their peer, the less comfortable they felt asking for advice or giving feedback, and the less interested they were in collaborating again.