Are there studies looking at what influences the propensity for asking feeler questions, e.g. how much does personality (trait of some kind) influence this and how much does culture affect it? It seems to me like a good topic for twin studies...

In more detail, what I'm talking about is this supposed "ask vs guess" dichotomy (which I syspect is probably more of a contiuum in reality):

In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it's OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.

In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't even have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

  • $\begingroup$ I think it's worth noting that I personally ask feeler type questions under Ask Culture within certain groups of people, but with other groups I operate under Guess Culture. $\endgroup$ – Travis Jan 21 '18 at 21:09

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