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

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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
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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