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New way to achieve your goals!
March 31, 2005
ere comes a new way to measure your progress: measure it from a third person's perspective.
This may help you achieve your goals and move forward, suggests a new study by Ohio State University researchers.
Published in a recent issue of the Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, this research states that picturing memories from a first person's perspective doesn't always help you evaluate your progress.
Look at things from someone else's point of view. And you might get a better picture.
"When you are looking for change in yourself, picturing your past from a third-person perspective highlights the progress you have made. That can give you the strength to keep working, even if you haven't reached your goal yet," says Lisa Libby, who conducted the research with Richard Eibach from Yale University and Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University.
"People who are looking for change in themselves," she adds, "don't sense that they have made as much progress when they look back in first-person. And that could be discouraging."
The research exercise: picture a given event in your own life from either a first-person or third-person perspective.
i. Those who looked at things from a third-person perspective saw more change in themselves than those who were told to take the first-person viewpoint.
ii. Taking a third-person perspective can also affect an individual's behavior.
Students who were told to take the third-person perspective were more likely to say they have changed and were no longer so socially awkward as those who were told to take a first-person viewpoint.
"When participants recalled past awkwardness from a third-person perspective," says Libby, "they felt they had changed and were now more socially skilled. That led them to behave more sociably and appear more socially skilled to the research assistant."
"These results could be useful to people who are trying to make changes in their lives. Using the third-person is a good technique to see the positive changes you have made in your life. And that is likely to lead to greater satisfaction with your efforts."