Master Decision-Making With This Self-Talk Trick
Dealing with a personal dilemma? Instead of giving yourself advice from your own point of view, pretend that a friend is giving you wise words.
That’s right — talk to yourself, and refer to yourself in third person.
A study in Psychological Science finds that we have a bias in ourselves when it comes to wise reasoning.
“We call the bias Solomon’s Paradox, after the king who was known for his wisdom, but who still failed at making personal decisions,” said Igor Grossmann, Ph.D., of the University of Waterloo in Canada. He conducted a series of experiments along with Ethan Kross, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan.
They asked participants in monogamous romantic relationships, to think about a theoretical issue in which the other person cheated. Then they asked them questions about the fictional scenario. The questions were designed to tapped into wise reasoning, which is the ability to recognize the limits of one’s own knowledge, search for a compromise, consider the perspectives of others, and recognize the possible ways in which the scenario could unfold.
When people were asked to weigh in on their own issue, they made less-wise choices. But when they took the position of a friend giving advice to someone who had been cheated on (or had cheated on the other person), they made wiser choices.
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