Why does it help us become a better person?
We’re all familiar with the lyrics to the popular song “My Favorite Things”, written by Charles Mingus:
I’m a great ballerina
I’m the best of all the blues
I’m a great dancer
I’m the best of all the musicians
But what’s the most important thing we can do to become the best version of ourselves?
How should we think about our thoughts about being a better version of ourselves? How do we know that what we say about ourselves is in fact true? And if we say it is, do we really feel it?
For years, social psychologists have known that people have a unique cognitive bias that lets them use what they know about themselves to determine what should happen in front of them.
For example, some research suggests that people who say they look good in jeans will think they don’t, while others say they look bad in jeans will think they do.
This bias has evolved because our ancestors used to be confronted repeatedly, year after year, with images of what the best-looking member of their group might look like.
A look-how-pretty-I’m is better than no look at all, right?
It has often been assumed that it would be easier to be the best versions of ourselves if we took into consideration our preferences about ourselves in this way.
In a study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers at the University of Cambridge and the Universidad de Concepcion in Caracas, Venezuela, compared the cognitive biases of people who say they have good looks and of those who say they look good in jeans on two different types of studies.
The first was a study of online ratings of how attractive they considered people who claimed to be good looking.
The second was a study of how attractive you would be if you actually were good looking, in real life.
Participants were asked to imagine themselves, either in present life or in an imaginary future.
If you’re good looking, you are more likely to be rated attractive than if you were poor-looking.
What are the best-looking versions of ourselves?
The researchers found that while both the look-how-pretty-I’m and good-looking-I’m biases were strong when people described themselves with good looks, the look-how-good-I’m bias was more pronounced with the look-
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