Recommended, 2020

Editor'S Choice

Decision support: When does the advice of friends help - and when not

"Sure, do it!" If two friends agree with our decision, it naturally lifts their spirits.
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  1. "And, what do you mean?"
  2. Do you think so too?
  3. Who we ask for advice
  4. Women ask for advice more often
  5. "Do you really mean?"

"And, what do you mean?"

Decision support complacent? We often ask others for advice even when we have long since decided. Why it is like that. And what happens if we do not like the answer.

Should I or should not I? Nobody can take away many small and big decisions in life. Nevertheless , we like to ask friends or partners for advice if we are not sure what to do. The crazy: Even if we have already determined internally, we still go to vote. For what?

Do you think so too?

"We like looking for allies in decisions, it makes no difference whether it is a 'trifle' like a new dress or a bigger thing like a move or a job change, " says social psychologist Fritz Strack. Especially difficult decisions we distribute so at least felt on several shoulders.

If we have already made our choice internally, we do not really want advice, but above all we seek emotional confirmation. "Sometimes it's just about telling someone their own opinion, and the other's reaction is completely secondary, " explains Strack.

Who we ask for advice

Depending on whether we really need a decision-making aid or just someone who supports us, we also select the one we appeal to. "If you are unsure if you are right in your decision, you are looking for an 'expert' among the circle of acquaintances.If you are only looking for approval, you are more likely to ask people you think are ticking like yourself "says the social psychologist.

Women often ask for advice

Generally, women seek advice more often than men. "That's because we fundamentally question ourselves or compare ourselves with others and therefore often feel insecure, " says personality psychologist Astrid Schütz. A US study has shown that women in most cases first ask the best friend . After all, the odds are that you'll get a friendly "Yes, you're right!" to hear

But since we women usually have several confidants in our environment, one opinion is often not enough to help us decide . We also like to get the recommendation of the parents or even a close colleague . Men, on the other hand, usually have enough trustworthy advice. "In doing so, they often follow their partner's advice - and usually leave it at that when the arguments of their loved ones sound logical, " explains Schütz.

"Do you really mean?"

But what if we do not like the answer to our question? Then we ask either as long as further people for advice until we have collected enough consent. Or we'll throw our old view over the pile. "That's what we decide from the gut: the closer we are to the 'doubters of doubt', the more often and easier we are to rethink things, " says Schütz.