Futurity

Giving advice doesn’t just help the person who gets it

Getting guidance from others can help motivate us to do better, but giving advice could be great for the giver, too.
One teen in a green sweater holds up her hands while talking to a student in yellow, while they sit in a classroom in front of a computer

Giving advice may actually benefit the advice-giver, according to new research.

Intuition says that people who struggle with something, such as earning solid grades or losing weight, will benefit from receiving advice. But findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest that the opposite is also true.

In an intervention with nearly 2,000 high schoolers, researchers discovered that advice-giving actually helps the students doing the counseling.

“Motivation is not calculus. If you told students who don’t know calculus, ‘Teach this to somebody else,’ that would be ludicrous,” says Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, a postdoctoral research at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. “Motivation is a little different. Often, people know what they need to do to achieve a goal. They’re just not doing it. The battle is getting people to enact what they already know.”

The work could have implications for the way teachers, coaches, and even parents approach motivation.

Here, Eskreis-Winkler explains why the findings excite her and where she sees potential for future study:

The post Giving advice doesn’t just help the person who gets it appeared first on Futurity.

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