Lifting the Curse of Knowing: How Feedback Improves Readers’ Perspective-Taking

AbstractPrevious studies have shown that readers often overestimate the similarity between their perspective and the perspective of protagonists in a story. This egocentric projection is argued to originate from readers’ tendency to use their own knowledge as a frame of reference from which they (insufficiently) adjust away to account for protagonists’ less informed perspective. This experimental study demonstrated that readers use feedback about protagonists’ knowledge status to draw inferences that are more accurate on future perspective-taking trials. Readers who were given the opportunity to learn through feedback not only adjusted their perspective-judgment more than those who did not receive feedback, these readers also showed less egocentric projection on future assessments.

Return to previous page