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When can we be a little selfish in our lives together?

Study guide

Are you selfish or self-sacrificing when choosing a movie to watch with your spouse or choosing a restaurant to dine with? When it comes to deciding what we and others are involved in, we are likely to make another personal decision beforehand. Should we insist on our own choice or give up our selfishness and personal preferences for the benefit of others? Research shows that when a person takes responsibility for decision making, the results are more satisfying.

Research findings on contemporary selfishness or self-sacrifice

New research published in the journal Consumer Psychology shows that when both people behave similarly at the time of choice, that is, either selfishly or both selfishly, their final choice is the distance from what they initially wanted. Will find more. This comparison was made in contrast to couples who behaved more selfishly and the other more selfishly when making decisions.

A group of researchers asked participants to look at a set of videos and rate each one based on satisfaction. In addition, they completed questionnaires that measured their usual level of selfishness or self-sacrifice. Two weeks later, participants returned to the test site. The researchers divided them into groups of two and asked them to choose a video to watch.

Compared to couples who were similar (ie, both scored high on selfishness or self-sacrifice according to the questionnaire), couples who were one more selfish and the other more selfless chose videos that were closer to each other’s actual preference. In another study, a similar finding was made: Participants in the study were given a fictional news story to read to evoke more selfish or self-sacrificing behavior.

Michel Loe is an assistant professor of marketing at Georgia University of Technology and the lead author of a study published in the journal Consumer Psychology. “When selfish people are together, or people who are self-sacrificing, they make the wrong decisions,” he says. “Eventually, they choose a video that none of them really wanted to see.”

Why does this happen?

Analyzing the decisions of people with similar moods

“People with similar temperaments often start talking,” says Lowe. For example, when a selfish couple talks, they both express their true preference, but neither of them accepts the other party’s offer. Since neither of them is willing to give up, they choose something that neither of them likes but both can tolerate.

In contrast, couples make self-serving suggestions that they mistakenly think are in line with another preference. The drawback of this strategy is that everyone mistakenly assumes a long distance between their own preference and the other; So he offers options that go far beyond his heart’s desire.

Turn selfishness is the solution

According to Louie, “turn selfishness” can be in the best interests of both parties when making decisions. Either party can safely make the decision or leave the decision to the other party, because they know that next time it will be their turn.

Loe says the application of this strategy in his own relationship has been successful. He and his wife used to have trouble choosing a place to dine; Each wanted the other to decide. “We realized we were both really looking for a common ground, but we both wanted to sacrifice ourselves,” Loe says. Now, we force each other to be honest about what we want. I say, “Choose you tonight. What do you want to do? ” “It really works.”

Of course, choosing a good place to dine is not a big deal. Kelly Haws, a professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University, says the study did not look at key decisions. This research may not be used to make more difficult decisions, such as buying a home or enrolling a child. In these cases, people spend more time and energy to ensure that they achieve the desired results.

But in everyday decisions, we may not need to be content with keeping the other party satisfied. Surprisingly, when two people try to take the other side into consideration at the same time, they actually get the opposite result.

Louie points out that it may be difficult for some to learn to be a little selfish, but trying to overcome this difficulty is worth it, especially in relationships where decisions have to be made constantly or in large groups that are stagnant.

The last word

“Sometimes groups need someone to voice what they want and take the lead,” says Lue. He continues: “I do not suggest this to be your usual job, but if you see someone standing still to make a decision, go ahead and suggest, ‘We’d better do it this way.’ It’s great. ” “People often welcome someone to take the lead.”

Do you have an experience where both of you made a decision out of selfishness or self-sacrifice and it ended to your detriment? What do you think about turn selfishness?




When can we be a little selfish in our lives together?

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