How useful tips strangers?

We - a sample of judgment when it comes to the problems of our friends. In this case, for some reason, we ourselves in similar situations are completely lost. Why is sound advice coming from and what is the paradox of Solomon? They say psychologists.

How useful tips strangers?

Why our quarrels and omissions sometimes stretch on for days and weeks, and insults leave an unpleasant aftertaste? It's hard to behave reasonably, when emotions overflowed. But still need to take into account the feelings and thoughts of other people that we care about. Therefore, the opinion of a stranger (friend or colleague) can help us more sober reason and to avoid rash decisions. According to psychologists, this method works, and when in the role of adviser stand aloof ... ourselves.

Psychologists Igor Grossman (Igor Grossmann) and Ethan Cross (Ethan Kross) conducted an experiment: a group of young people who are in a relationship, have offered to present the situation in a pair of high treason. In one case, the culprit is their partner in another - it was not about them, and about their friends. Then the participants had to answer the questions: how they see the outcome of the conflict, which is why it could happen, what advice they would give a pair to restore mutual understanding. The authors evaluated the answers on the basis of how the participants were able to consider different points of view, consider the case impartially and to exercise leniency. As a result, the most successful were the responses of those who analyzed the relationship acquaintances. Then the psychologists asked participants to repeat the procedure. But in this case one would have to imagine yourself as the perpetrators of the conflict. Again, when it came to the situation in a couple of the others, the answer is more balanced and wise. According to the authors, the differences in the perception and evaluation of the problems are related to how we are able to distance themselves from it: the less we personally involved in the situation, the easier it is to ignore the emotions that accompany fears and doubts *.

"This feature of our way of thinking we call the paradox of Solomon - the name of the biblical King, who, being a great sage, was still able to protect themselves from errors in decision-making concerning himself - Grossman explains. - Our findings suggest that in order to make more informed decisions, we need to learn to look at the situation distantly, as if it acts by someone else. For example, you can think about the problem out loud, instead of using the pronoun "I" - "he", "she" or even your name. "

It is worth noting that this is not the first study, which refers to the importance of the ability to look at ourselves. For example, before Ethan Cross and his colleagues found that study participants who offered to talk with yourself aloud, imagining myself in the role of another person, they felt less embarrassment than those who used to talk pronoun "I".

* Psychological Science, published online on June 9, 2014.