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

AbstractThis 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 perspective.

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