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Keywords:

  • complexity and social sciences/psychology;
  • advice-giving;
  • nonlinear dynamics;
  • recurrence quantification analysis;
  • perspective-taking

Abstract

Advice-giving about personal problems is a common form of human interaction. However, an open question is whether there is an abstract and general logic that explains how advice-giving works. In this study, we addressed this question from the perspective of dynamical systems. We measured the nonlinear dynamics of advice-giving by using recurrence quantification analysis. Analyzing 600 texts of request for advice and the advice given, our results uncover a typical logic of advice-giving, and suggest that advice-giving may be understood as a dynamic manipulation of perspective-taking. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity 2009