“How to tell if other people think you’re hot, according to science”

“The crux of this technique is that people think about themselves in very different ways than they think about other people… That’s in part because you have a huge amount of information about yourself — far more information than you have about other people. You know what your hair looked like yesterday, a month ago, and four years ago. You know whether you’ve put on weight recently, or if you look tired today. Compare how you evaluate yourself to how you evaluate a stranger: You might make judgments about their overall level of attractiveness, their outfit, their mannerisms, but not much else.”…
Epley and Eyal found that the students who were told that their photograph would be rated several months later were much more accurate at predicting how other people would rate their attractiveness… Notice that this technique is a little different from the traditional advice of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.”…
Epley says the takeaway is that you can’t imagine what other people are thinking just by trying to do so… This is kind of worrying, because so much of our public policy is based on the idea that people can imagine what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. And that myth is so widespread that people are very confident about their ability to do so. “The problem we find over and over again in our data on these social cognition studies, the problem isn’t incompetence, it’s not that people are idiots, it’s that they’re overconfident. The problem is hubris,” Epley says.”

This technique of time delay to gain perspective, and temporal-nearness to develop detailed empathy with someone, it’s really interesting. I hope I remember to try this the next time that I feel like everything is terrible, or when I feel that I can’t understand someone else’s behavior.

(Credit to AI)

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