We've all heard the saying that opposites attract but did you know that people being opposites can really play out in their favour? A new study has found that opposites can actually work together to make satisfactory decisions that can work out rather well for them. People regularly make decisions together be it something trivial like figuring out where to eat or which movie to watch or something important like which hospital to have their baby delivered in.
As per the study, if one partner behaves selfishly, it is better that the other partner behaves altruistically rather than selfishly as well. And similarly if one partner can't make decisions on their own it is better that the other partner takes control. This way, they reach a satisfactory outcome which either best reflects their individual preferences or what both partners personally liked.
“When you see that your partner is acting selfishly, it is better to let it go and act altruistically instead; let them make the decision because this will ultimately ensure a better outcome for you than if you act selfishly too,” said Hristina Nikolova, lead author of the study. The researchers explained that when opposites try to make a decision, the selfish partner willingly explains what they want whereas the altruistic partner accepts these suggestions and may even start to like them. And often partners end up liking the same thing so the altruistic partner will feel that they're getting what they want without having to make too many efforts.
Thanks to this, even though the decision might be made by one partner, both the partners will feel satisfied with the outcome. “In the context of joint choices, however, we find that two selfish heads do worse than one altruistic and one selfish head; two selfish consumers jointly choose options that neither of them prefers. This happens because both partners are likely to be rigidly self-oriented when negotiating with others,” Nikolova said.
“This propensity to counteroffer rather than concede inadvertently leads to negotiation. The two selfish partners trade rejected offers until they land on an option that is further down both of their preference lists but is deemed acceptable by both partners,” Nikolova added.