Images 11 ImagesWhen Feedback Gets Personal

Most of us would rather not be told that our behavior is inappropriate, that we smell funny, that we got someone’s name wrong, or that we were late. In most cases, we also do not like to tell someone else such bad news—even if it’s true. Advertisers are aware of this human inclination, so when producing commercials for mouthwash products, they help buyers devise clever, indirect ways to tell offenders their breath is bad.

The alternatives to receiving personal feedback are either to be perfect, which is a little difficult, ...

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