The Curse of Knowing: The Influence of Explicit Perspective-Awareness Instructions on Perceivers’ Perspective-Taking

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This study investigated whether an explicit and stimulated attention to the mental states of an uninformed other fosters perspective-taking. The experimental aim of this study was twofold. First, we aimed to replicate Keysar’s (1994) curse of knowledge effect, indicating how privileged information biases
correct perspective-judgments. The second aim was to investigate whether this curse of knowledge effect diminishes by explicit instructions to become aware of another person’s perspective. Findings showed that we replicated Keysar’s (1994) curse of knowledge effect. Perceivers were more likely to impute their perception of speaker’s sarcasm onto an uninformed addressee when their privileged information suggested that the speaker was being sarcastic rather than being sincere. Findings further revealed that perceivers were just as likely to overestimate the extent to which their private perspective was shared by an uninformed addressee, regardless of their explicit and stimulated attention to this addressee’s
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsT. T. Rogers, M. Rau, X. Zhu, C. W. Kalish
Place of PublicationAustin, TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
EventAnnual Cognitive Science Society Meeting: Changing / Minds - Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison, United States
Duration: 25 Jul 201828 Jul 2018
Conference number: 40


ConferenceAnnual Cognitive Science Society Meeting
Abbreviated titleCogSci 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • interpersonal perception questions
  • curse of knowledge
  • privileged information
  • egocentricity bias


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