Two people with a distinct and divergent attitude when coming together can come out with a really nice decision, in spite of their opposite personalities and traits, a recent study suggests.
A study found that when paired with an incompatible partner, the behaviour that comes out is altruistic rather than selfish. Similarly, when paired with an altruistic partner, the findings say, it is better to behave selfishly to achieve the desired outcome, reported recently in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
“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,” Nikolova explained.
According to the researchers, in a joint decision-making process between an altruistic and a selfish consumer, the selfish partner would willingly express his/her desired preference, while the altruistic partner will likely accept these suggestions.
Therefore, one can easily get to the conclusion that when opposite characters meet, they’re likely to come out with a mutually agreed decision. According to Nikolova, conventional wisdom suggests that standing one’s ground is associated with positive outcomes. But that’s not necessarily the case.
“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,” she 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.
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