Shared mechanisms for controlling egocentric bias during perspective taking and intertemporal choices


We infer the thoughts and feelings of other people by taking their perspectives, the accuracy of which depends on abilities to control egocentric bias. Similar processes could arguably be used to understand how we would be affected by future events, such as delayed rewards in intertemporal decisions, by allowing us to accurately take the perspective of future selves. In this paper, we test this idea in two studies. In both studies, a positive relationship was identified between behavioural and neural markers of egocentric bias control and preferences for delayed rewards. The overall pattern of results suggest the overlap in processes of egocentric bias control and those that determine preferences in intertemporal choices, and demonstrate for the first time the effect of sexual arousal on social cognition in reducing abilities to separate one’s own perspective from others’.

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