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3 Cliches Not to Ignore

“Out of sight, out of mind.”

Even if this cliché isn’t true in every respect (at least, not when you’re pining away for someone), we humans sometimes assume it is when we’re working in groups. Various psychological studies suggest that social loafing, the tendency of people working in groups to work a little less harder because they’re less directly responsible, is a very real thing. A 1993 meta-analysis covering seventy-eight studies and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that certain factors, like not caring about the task itself or having higher expectations of others’ performances, increase the “out of sight, out of mind” assumption.

But the cliché is true beyond group work situations as well. A 2010 study in the journal Tobacco Control found that after tobacco ads were removed from a certain location, only 22 percent of teenagers could remember the ads’ content (compared with a whopping 81 percent beforehand). The removal also lowered these teens’ beliefs about how many of their peers smoked. When the ads weren’t confronting them every day, they thought about them—and the prospect of smoking—much less. (If only that were true of that whole pining-away business.)

Relying on clichés is often thought of as lazy, but when it comes down to it, sometimes they say it better than any paraphrasing or unique spin ever could. Within those words that have been repeated infinitely are pearls of wisdom we’d all do well to remember as we go about our daily lives—even if, as is the case with these phrases, we have to fudge their original meaning a little to get to the golden truth.

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10:32AM PDT on Mar 25, 2013


2:20AM PST on Feb 16, 2013


6:48PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

interesting read. Thank you

8:34AM PST on Dec 8, 2012


2:56AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

Interesting take...

6:52PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

Thanks for sharing - very interesting.

12:02PM PST on Nov 20, 2012


9:02AM PST on Nov 16, 2012


8:58AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

@Kate I think that is a saying not a cliche. If you think your mouth is being "duct taped" by not using cliches in conversation, then I think it would serve you well to apply actually duct tape to your mouth. Here is an idea. Instead of using meaningless, thoughtless, overused phrases why dont you try thinking before you open your mouth....I know this might hurt a little. If you prattle on all the time no one listens, but if you speak rarely but with meaning, when you do say something people will want to listen.
But dont worry girl, you will get thru this. It could be worse. It will get better. Trust me. Life is good. Everything you are going through you will learn from it. It is what it is.

8:04PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

@Holli C: How bout "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"? or "Ask and you shall receive"? How do you do that with your mouth duct taped?

But however you feel about cliches, your wish is my command, & I'll quit here.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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