I Told You So

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I Told You So

Postby zetreque on February 28th, 2017, 10:35 pm 

I almost posted this a couple days ago, and then something happened again yesterday where some random person I know gave yet another example of it so here goes...

Is it just me or is it very common that your spouse, family member, or close friend will ignore you when you tell them about something (even things that are important to health or life) but as soon as a stranger tells your spouse, family member, or close friend that same thing, they are totally into it?

This came up again a few days ago when I had told someone repeatedly about something over months. Then she talks to her brother who told her the same thing and told me about it. I questioned why I hadn't been taken as seriously as the brother who she doesn't talk to that often and the response was that it was an outside opinion.

This got me to thinking about it. What is the psychology behind tending to get used to and take for granted people we are close to and then believe strangers because they are some sort of outside confirmation?

It seems like a strange and illogical phenomenon where we tend to put less credit into those who have a track record for being right and caring about us, but wake up when some stranger confirms what we have been told?
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Forest_Dump on February 28th, 2017, 10:56 pm 

It sometimes falls under the heading of familiarity breeds contempt. Believe me it can happen even on topics where you are an indisputable, internationally recognized expert on the topic. Hand her a copy of a peer reviewed paper in a high ranked scholarly journal and you might get a brief humph. She sees a brief paragraph in some local newspaper and it is worth days on FaceBook.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby zetreque on March 1st, 2017, 12:18 am 

Forest_Dump » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:56 pm wrote:It sometimes falls under the heading of familiarity breeds contempt.


Why Familiarity Really Does Breed Contempt
http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/05/why-familiarity-really-does-breed.php

But what the researchers were interested in this time was the effect of similarity on whether we like others. This is because much previous research has shown that we tend to like other people who are similar to ourselves. The results showed that what was driving the connection between knowledge and dislike was a lack of similarity. Effectively the more traits participants knew about another ‘person’, the more likely they were to find dissimilarities with themselves, and so the more likely they were to dislike them.

It gets worse. In a fourth study using a similar approach to those above the researchers found that our dislike for others cascades. This means that if we see a dissimilar (and therefore unlikeable) trait early on in our relationship with another, this tends to negatively affect the way we perceive the rest of their traits. So, once we perceive a dissimilarity, it’s all downhill from there. Even traits we might have liked, or been neutral about before, now get the thumbs down.



So the hypothesis would then be that because your spouse, close friend or family member knows a lot about you, it's not as exciting as something a stranger says. Since they know nothing about the stranger, the stranger is perfect in their mind and therefore perhaps 100% credible at that moment. Meanwhile you have a track record for being wrong maybe even only 2% of the time. It's weird that a stranger can have 100% credibility perfection ranking with zero track record and seem better than someone with a long track record but only 98% credibility rating.

Does Familiarity Breed Contempt?
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201010/does-familiarity-breed-contempt
In relationships, the problem is not with familiarity, but more about that to which we're acclimating. For example, disrespectful, dishonoring, and negative energy all too often become familiar territory in relationships. These are the elements that cause contempt. Perhaps we'd be better off saying mediocrity or unhappiness breed contempt.


------

I actually think the same concept holds true for locations in the world. When people travel to a new location they fall in love with it because they aren't seeing any of it's faults. Once they move there and learn about it more, the place becomes just like any other place full of faults.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Forest_Dump on March 1st, 2017, 7:38 am 

Not to give up on the cliches yet, lets not forget that opposites attract and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby BadgerJelly on March 1st, 2017, 10:46 am 

I think the factor that this person knows you, and knows your interests, means that they are more aware of your bias toward subject X. An outsider, whose biases in this area are less obvious, will then be listened to.

I think this could be tested to some degree. If we have two renown experts in field X maybe neither would be listened to so readily because they are viewed as possessing "bias" in their field of expertise. I know I myself often look at some expert views as possibly blinkered from the larger picture.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby SciameriKen on March 1st, 2017, 3:41 pm 

zetreque » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:35 am wrote:This got me to thinking about it. What is the psychology behind tending to get used to and take for granted people we are close to and then believe strangers because they are some sort of outside confirmation?

It seems like a strange and illogical phenomenon where we tend to put less credit into those who have a track record for being right and caring about us, but wake up when some stranger confirms what we have been told?


Perhaps we can work together - I can be your stranger for your people - and you can be the stranger for mine! :D
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Re: I Told You So

Postby zetreque on March 1st, 2017, 3:49 pm 

SciameriKen » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:41 am wrote:
zetreque » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:35 am wrote:This got me to thinking about it. What is the psychology behind tending to get used to and take for granted people we are close to and then believe strangers because they are some sort of outside confirmation?

It seems like a strange and illogical phenomenon where we tend to put less credit into those who have a track record for being right and caring about us, but wake up when some stranger confirms what we have been told?


Perhaps we can work together - I can be your stranger for your people - and you can be the stranger for mine! :D


There's a plan! I think we could even make an ethical argument for that since it's an illogical phenomenon in the first place.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Eclogite on March 1st, 2017, 9:08 pm 

Don't knock it. Without this effect all management consultants would be unemployed.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Heavy_Water on May 2nd, 2017, 7:18 pm 

Hmmm....sorry, but I've never experienced the dynamic of which you speak.

My wife always listens to me. Especially in matters of science, and especially in my own field, psychology.

I've never seen her tell me about somebody else explaining something I previously told her. And her thinking she heard it from them first.

All I can say from your post is it sounds as if the family members or friends you mention who don't listen to you must not, well, pay attention to good deal of what you say. This could be due to any of several reasons, including the fact that your credibility factor is very low with them. Or that you maybe say so many things that they find uninteresting that they sometimes tune you out. Or they're thinking of something else. Distracted. If it is your wife or s.o. doing this I might offer that you consider the possibility they're having an affair. Distraction and aloofness is a sure sign.

Hope this helps.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby doogles on May 3rd, 2017, 7:03 am 

I've experienced this among an extended family of in-laws rather than related kin. It is a real phenomenon. I think there is also a cliché to the effect that no one is a hero in their own town and that if you wish to make a name for yourself you have to leave your local area.

I've been amused at some of the comments above.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Heavy_Water on May 3rd, 2017, 12:25 pm 

doogles » May 3rd, 2017, 6:03 am wrote:I've experienced this among an extended family of in-laws rather than related kin. It is a real phenomenon. I think there is also a cliché to the effect that no one is a hero in their own town and that if you wish to make a name for yourself you have to leave your local area.

I've been amused at some of the comments above.



As I stated above, this OP question is NOT a known phenomenon in the field, as you say. LOL. I have never heard of it, to be honest. And I AM in the field. LOL.

Your cliche about the hero is actually speaking of a totally different dynamic at work than the one the OP posited, btw. It's also a false idea as well. Plenty of small towns have local heroes.

If you insist that the OP is a know phenomenon in the field, as you say, perhaps you could grace us with a link? That shows how psychologists and other mental health professionals have recognized and named it? I'd be interested to see if I really have missed something all this time! LOL

Thanks.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Braininvat on May 3rd, 2017, 12:48 pm 

HWater:

a brief moderator note:

The OP was simply offering a conjecture, and thus lacked any citations from peer-reviewed journals and the like. The responses have been given in a similar speculative spirit, so we would certainly welcome anyone who might have easy access to the literature and be able to shed light on this or related effects of familiarity.

As someone with training in a cognitive science field, I can say I've noticed the effect but only in an anecdotal way. And this thread has been far more anecdotal than a science thread should be here, so a real citation, either pro or con, would be welcome.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Heavy_Water on May 5th, 2017, 11:44 pm 

Hmm..not quite sure what part of my OP you'd like a link that supports it? Was it my claim that there is not a known and named phenomenon in Psychology that friends and family often do not listen to us? As the thread OP claimed there was? How do you find a citation for something that doesn't exist? LOL. I think that the inability to find a citation on something just confirms it's non existence. I also remembering challenging anyone to find one.

Or did you need a link on my claim that lack of credibility for the speaker is often a reason people often fail to listen and remember his statements?

If that's the case, check this out. And be sure to read the section entitled Evaluating.

Hope this helps.


http://open.lib.umn.edu/communication
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Re: I Told You So

Postby zetreque on May 5th, 2017, 11:56 pm 

Heavy_Water » Fri May 05, 2017 7:44 pm wrote: I think that the inability to find a citation on something just confirms it's non existence. I also remembering challenging anyone to find one.


So does that mean nothing new would ever exist because it would need a citation?

Frankly, you have failed to impress me with any of your posts thus far.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby doogles on May 6th, 2017, 7:18 pm 

This is a list of people who did not receive recognition till after their deaths. Though it’s not exactly a case of heroes in ‘home towns’, it’s obvious that those close to them did not recognise and promote their talents. The list was put out by a bloke called Arun Thakur See http://topyaps.com/top-10-people-who-be ... fter-death .

10. Alfred Wegener (November 1, 1880 – November 1930):
9. Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564 – January 8, 1642):
8. Vincent Van Gogh (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890):
7. Franz Kafka (July 3, 1883 –June 3, 1924):
6. Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886):
5. Gregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884):
4. Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862):
3. Heath Ledger (April 4, 1979 – January 22, 2008):
2. Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849):
1. Henry Darger (April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973):

I can add Dr Sammulweiss of Puerperal Fever fame.

Sister Kenny of Poliomyelitis fame could not get anyone in the medical profession in Australia to listen to her, but she received great recognition in the United States during her lifetime.

Now almost all of these people lived in the days before easy international communication and travel, so maybe there is no such thing as ‘home towns’ any more.

Nevertheless I would believe that, maybe with the exception of Heath Ledger who was applauded during his working life, that there was an element of the OP inherent in all of the histories mentioned above.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Heavy_Water on May 6th, 2017, 7:46 pm 

zetreque » May 5th, 2017, 10:56 pm wrote:
Heavy_Water » Fri May 05, 2017 7:44 pm wrote: I think that the inability to find a citation on something just confirms it's non existence. I also remembering challenging anyone to find one.


So does that mean nothing new would ever exist because it would need a citation?

Frankly, you have failed to impress me with any of your posts thus far.


No. It means that after discovery and recognition for validity there would likely be posts and citations and links on it.

As far as you bring unimpressed by the body of my efforts here thus far, I'll still try not to let that keep me up at night.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby eagle on June 2nd, 2017, 9:21 am 

Good points zetreque. Yeah I guess we humans have our ridiculous foibles! Probably novelty-seeking individuals experience this effect even more greatly. I guess we can try a Zen-like beginner's approach to improve our perceptions of people and places we know well! :)
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Serpent on June 2nd, 2017, 9:44 am 

zetreque » February 28th, 2017, 9:35 pm wrote: What is the psychology behind tending to get used to and take for granted people we are close to and then believe strangers because they are some sort of outside confirmation?

It seems like a strange and illogical phenomenon where we tend to put less credit into those who have a track record for being right and caring about us, but wake up when some stranger confirms what we have been told?

For what it's worth, I have experienced this very often in my own relationship.
Approximately 50% of the advice I give to my SO, as well as my best friend, is ignored, which annoys me. It annoys me even a lot more when they seriously consider, even remark upon, the same advice read in a book or given by their doctor. (Happily, it's usually not a random layman they defer to, but an expert.)
Approximately 50% of the time, they do take my advice, or at least listen attentively and nod, before doing whatever the hell they want. Which is gratifying for about 15 seconds, before i forget all about it.
Additionally, about 50% of my advice is excellent; 25% is negligible and 25% is impracticable.

Conversely, I take seriously about 50% of the advice they give me, and disregard the other 50%.
They're forever annoyed with me, claiming I "never" take their advice, which is untrue and unfair; they forget all the times I did take their advice and thanked them for it.

I offer two possible explanations:
1. Your own perception of how people close to you react to your advice may be selective/prejudicial.
2. Having heard it from you, the issue may be close to the surface of their mind; it's possible that you have made them more receptive to a similar opinion from a neutral third party.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Braininvat on June 2nd, 2017, 9:51 am 

I really like 2! This often works that way with my significant bother. Am on tablet, thumbs are slow, but will circle back later with an example.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby zetreque on June 2nd, 2017, 12:03 pm 

I have recently explored this topic with a SO and figured a couple other things out.

A. As was just mentioned, the other person becomes more receptive to the advice but has to experience it for themself. We humans can't just trust someone else's advice, we have to see for ourselves. Like touching a hot stove we were told not to touch. Somewhere along the line of going through that experience the person forgot where they were introduced to the advice or simply forgot to give credit/Thank.

B. Most people have very poor communication skills. It's not that they are wrong or you are wrong. It's not that anyone deserves any blame in most cases. It's more of a matter of the desire to understand the other person's perspective. The advice somehow gets lost in communication. I'll stop there because it's too early in the morning to finish that thought.
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Re: I Told You So

Postby Serpent on June 2nd, 2017, 12:48 pm 

Further to that, factor in: where and when the communication takes place, in what tone, and what's the mood of the recipient at the time of transmission.

If I'm already frustrated by something I've been trying to do unsuccessfully, the last thing i want is someone (especially someone whose approval I need to make daily life worthwhile) looking over my shoulder, saying "You're doing it all wrong!" That just makes me feel crappier than I already was.
A few hours later, when I'm relaxed, in general conversation, if they said, "About that project giving you so much grief lately? Well, I've had an idea you might consider..." I very probably would - and be grateful.

And if i've been struggling with a bad habit (like the urge to substitute handfuls of chocolate-covered almonds with a beer instead for a balanced meal), and losing, the last thing I want to hear is the same old nag about keeping track of my blood-pressure.
So, in those situations, two things almost invariably happen: I'm annoyed with the advisor, and my inner five-year-old takes over and makes me do the exact opposite, just to show them they're not the boss of me.
It makes no never-mind that I know better or that I'm almost immediately sorry.
The next day, or whenever they're not looking, I get out the blood-pressure monitor (have recently acquired one of the nifty wrist models that doesn't feel like I've been attacked by a python). It's just -- I want to be control of this for myself.

There is this about being with someone every day: we forget to extend them the same reticence and courtesy we would automatically accord an acquaintance. Maybe that's why we're more apt to take advice from acquaintances.
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