Safety pros looking to get employees involved in their programs take note: People may indeed be suckers for flattery, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

In a series of experiments with college students, researcher Roos Vonk of the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands found that participants generally liked their admirers regardless of whether they thought the compliments were true.

"Flattery works because it feels good when you're being flattered, even if you know that the flattering comments may not be entirely accurate," Vonk told Reuters Health.

People's moods, self-esteem and desire to like those complimenting are probably factors affecting whether flattery strikes home. But bottom line: it's hard to beat the feel-good aspect of a personal compliment, says Vonk.