Changing Minds: The Effect of Stimulated Attention to Another’s Different Point of View on Visual Perspective-Taking

AbstractTwo experiments examined whether an explicit attention to another’s perspective fosters perspective-taking. The first experiment attempted to replicate Todd et al.’s (2010) findings that a mind-set focusing on self-other differences incites respondents to adopt another person’s perspective in a subsequent task. Results showed that perceivers focusing on self-other differences were just as likely to describe an object’s location from their egocentric perspective as perceivers focusing on self-other similarities. The second experiment intensified perceivers’ awareness of self-other differences by allocating them to one of the perspective-settings (none, self-focus, other-focus). Participants in the perspective-settings received explicit instructions to regard their own (self-focus) or another person’s (other-focus) viewpoint during the perspective-taking task. Findings revealed that other-focused respondents were more likely to adopt another person’s perspective than self-focused respondents. Compared to the baseline, however, an explicit self- or other-focus did not foster perspective-taking. Our findings indicate the robustness of respondents’ egocentric bias.

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