Changing views: the effect of explicit perceptionfocus instructions on perspective-taking

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Abstract

In two experiments, we examined whether explicit attention to another’s perspective fosters perspective-taking. In the first experiment, we attempted to replicate previous findings showing that a mind-set focusing on self-other differences incites speakers to adopt another’s viewpoint in a subsequent task. However, our results showed that speakers focusing on self-other differences were just as likely to describe an object’s location from their egocentric perspective as speakers focusing on self-other similarities. In the second experiment, we intensified speakers’ awareness of perspectives by explicitly instructing them to regard their own (self-focus) or another’s (other-focus) viewpoint during the perspective-taking task. Participants allocated to the baseline did not receive explicit focus instructions. Findings revealed that other-focused speakers were more likely to adopt another’s perspective than self-focused speakers. However, compared to the baseline, an explicit other-focus did not foster perspective-taking. We conclude that an explicit awareness of perspective differences does not attenuate speakers’ egocentricity bias.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Perspective Taking
Explicit Instruction
Experiment

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@article{567b1e849a3242bd9362a88b9e78d027,
title = "Changing views: the effect of explicit perceptionfocus instructions on perspective-taking",
abstract = "In two experiments, we examined whether explicit attention to another’s perspective fosters perspective-taking. In the first experiment, we attempted to replicate previous findings showing that a mind-set focusing on self-other differences incites speakers to adopt another’s viewpoint in a subsequent task. However, our results showed that speakers focusing on self-other differences were just as likely to describe an object’s location from their egocentric perspective as speakers focusing on self-other similarities. In the second experiment, we intensified speakers’ awareness of perspectives by explicitly instructing them to regard their own (self-focus) or another’s (other-focus) viewpoint during the perspective-taking task. Participants allocated to the baseline did not receive explicit focus instructions. Findings revealed that other-focused speakers were more likely to adopt another’s perspective than self-focused speakers. However, compared to the baseline, an explicit other-focus did not foster perspective-taking. We conclude that an explicit awareness of perspective differences does not attenuate speakers’ egocentricity bias.",
author = "Debby Damen and {van Amelsvoort}, Marije and {van der Wijst}, Per and Emiel Krahmer",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1080/20445911.2019.1606000",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Cognitive Psychology",
issn = "2044-592x",
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AB - In two experiments, we examined whether explicit attention to another’s perspective fosters perspective-taking. In the first experiment, we attempted to replicate previous findings showing that a mind-set focusing on self-other differences incites speakers to adopt another’s viewpoint in a subsequent task. However, our results showed that speakers focusing on self-other differences were just as likely to describe an object’s location from their egocentric perspective as speakers focusing on self-other similarities. In the second experiment, we intensified speakers’ awareness of perspectives by explicitly instructing them to regard their own (self-focus) or another’s (other-focus) viewpoint during the perspective-taking task. Participants allocated to the baseline did not receive explicit focus instructions. Findings revealed that other-focused speakers were more likely to adopt another’s perspective than self-focused speakers. However, compared to the baseline, an explicit other-focus did not foster perspective-taking. We conclude that an explicit awareness of perspective differences does not attenuate speakers’ egocentricity bias.

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