The Benefits and Obstacles to Perspective Getting

Debby Damen*, Monique M. H. Pollmann, Teri-Louise Grassow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In general, people tend to rely on egocentric projection when predicting others' emotions, attitudes, and preferences. However, this strategy is less effective than the more obvious strategy of directly asking others what they feel, think, or desire ('perspective getting'). In three experimental studies, we investigated how likely people are to ask for others' perspectives, whether it leads to better predictions, and what factors impede perspective getting. In the first study, we let participants predict how happy another person would be with different money distributions. Only 26% of all people engaged in perspective getting, and it did not lead to better predictions. In the second study, we let people predict how expensive another person would think certain products are. The majority of people engaged in some form of perspective getting, but only 23% of all people did this thoroughly. Perspective getting did lead to better predictions. In the final study, we let people predict another person's attitudes about a wide range of topics. Here, 70% of the people engaged in perspective getting and 12.5% did so thoroughly. Again, perspective getting led to better predictions. We found that confidence acted as a barrier for perspective getting. We also tested whether pointing out that perspective getting is the best strategy would increase perspective getting. We do not find a positive effect of this intervention. We discuss possible other interventions to increase people's tendency to get rather than take perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number611187
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Communication
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2021

Keywords

  • perspective getting
  • perspective taking
  • egocentric projection
  • interpersonal accuracy
  • overconfidence
  • experimental studies
  • EMPATHIC ACCURACY
  • EGOCENTRIC BIAS
  • SOCIAL JUDGMENT
  • ILLUSORY TRANSPARENCY
  • MIND
  • PERCEPTION
  • SELF
  • PREFERENCES
  • CONFIDENCE
  • NEGOTIATION

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