“What matters is that we’re aware of each other’s subjective realities,” explained the study’s author, management professor Brittany Solomon, in a summary of the findings. “I think that sometimes people get along because they mistakenly assume everyone is on the same page. The more insight we have into the discrepancies and views of others makes our interactions legitimate. Ultimately, we don’t want to live in a world where we are deluded.”
To get a better understanding of the extent to which people can go beyond their own views, Solomon asked study participants to share a series of perceptions about the personalities of their peers, from different points of view -- not just their own opinion. Their friends and acquaintances were asked to do the same.
The study discovered that no matter how someone saw another person, they were aware also of how that person saw themselves and others perceived them.
The findings could be incredibly useful to team dynamics, according to Solomon. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes can boost cooperation, communication and empathy.