ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (6): 1052-1060.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01052

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Self-distancing: An Adaptive Self-reflection

LI Tianran1; LI Jing2; YU Guoliang3   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology) (2 School of Education)
    Institute of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)
  • Received:2014-11-02 Online:2015-06-25 Published:2015-06-25
  • Contact: YU Guoliang, E-mail:


People’s attempts to understand and make meaning out of negative feelings are helpful, but sometimes lead them feel worse. The reason why this paradoxical phenomenon happens is the perspective of self-reflection. Self-distanced perspective which means people view their own experience like an observer of the self is an adaptive way to reflect. The psychological mechanism of self-distanced perspective can be explained by construal level theory. Then, based on the method of manipulation of self-distancing, we discussed adaptive effects of self-distanced perspective on physical and mental health, buffering negative emotions, decreasing fundamental attribution error, and promoting wise reasoning. At last, we analyzed the culture differences and border of application of this perspective. Future research should consider the relationship between self-distanced perspective and personality, motivation and capability.

Key words: self-distancing, self-immerse, self-reflection, self-control