You probably have but mostly likely don’t know it, if you are like I am and had never seen the word before. A doppelgänger is defined as “a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person.” Research conducted at Brown University found that people easily have a doppelgänger bias.
Translated into English – this means that when we see someone who either consciously or subconsciously reminds us of someone else, we have a tendency to react to this new person the same as we would to the one that we know. This can be either positive or negative.
Think about it – you meet someone who has a similar hairstyle to a previous old flame and you suddenly find yourself with fond feelings about this stranger. Or, maybe a little closer to home, your significant other says or does something in a manner that reminds you of a way that one of your parents treated you that drove you crazy. What happens? It is easy to interpret your reaction as though your partner is intentionally trying to scold or condescend to you the way that your parent did. But are they really? Ah – the old doppelgänger bias.
We certainly don’t appreciate it when someone jumps to conclusions or makes assumptions about our intentions – and neither should we. Strive to give those around you today the benefit of the doubt rather than assume a bias that is likely to only churn you from the inside. You deserve better.