Theresa Fisher wrote at mic.com on 25.2.2015:
“…Ethan Kross, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, doesn’t believe speaking in third person deserves its bad rap. Kross studies self-talk, the introspective conversations we have with ourselves about ourselves. Through his research, Kross has found that people who don’t refer to themselves in the first person during self-talk have an easier time dealing with stressful situations. Basically, treating ourselves as though we’re other people can change how we think, feel and behave.
Kross has studied psychological distance for over a decade, but says focusing on non-first-person self-talk dawned on him a few years ago when he caught himself doing it. After running a red light, Kross blurted out, “Ethan, you idiot! Why did you do that?” Then he started to notice the behavior in other people, which got him thinking about the meaning and value of the language we use when we communicate with ourselves.
Kross explored this phenomenon in the lab.
In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Kross and a research team explored how people use different styles of self-talk during stressful tasks. In two of the experiments, researchers challenged participants to deliver a speech with little preparation or help. Extemporaneous public speaking, Kross told Mic, is among the most powerful ways to induce stress in a controlled environment without crossing ethical lines.
The experiments also required participants to practice self-talk before and after delivering speeches. All participants had to actively think through their feelings surrounding the speech. In one version of the experiment, the self-talk exercises involved only rumination; in a different version, participants had to write down their feelings.
To compare the impact of language in self-talk, researchers divided participants into two groups: first person and non-first-person. Members of the first-person group used “I” statements to guide their introspection. Members of the non-first-person group (the LeBrons) also thought through their feelings, but ditched the first-person perspective…”