It seems natural to thank someone when they pass the salt or hold the elevator for you, but it turns out such behavior is pretty unusual. A new study has shown that verbal expressions of gratitude like "thank you" are less common than you might expect. Are we ruder and more ungrateful than we realize? Not necessarily. This news shouldn't be taken as evidence of the decline of a smoothly functioning social order. Instead, it offers evidence that when it comes to human expectations about helping each other out, things are working exactly as they should.
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Written by Arika Okrent June 6, 2018
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