Skip to main content Accessibility help

Seeing the World Through the Other's Eye: An Online Intervention Reducing Ethnic Prejudice



We report the results of an intervention that targeted anti-Roma sentiment in Hungary using an online perspective-taking game. We evaluated the impact of this intervention using a randomized experiment in which a sample of young adults played this perspective-taking game, or an unrelated online game. Participation in the perspective-taking game markedly reduced prejudice, with an effect-size equivalent to half the difference between voters of the far-right and the center-right party. The effects persisted for at least a month, and, as a byproduct, the intervention also reduced antipathy toward refugees, another stigmatized group in Hungary, and decreased vote intentions for Hungary's overtly racist, far-right party by 10%. Our study offers a proof-of-concept for a general class of interventions that could be adapted to different settings and implemented at low costs.


Corresponding author

Gábor Simonovits is a PhD candidate, Department of Politics, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA (
Gábor Kézdi is a Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA (
Péter Kardos is an Assistant Professor, Division of Social and Behavioral Science, Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ 07003, USA (


Hide All

We thank Don Green, Sean Kates, Cyrus Samii, and Stephanie Zonszein for helpful advice; Kristóf Horváth, Anita Kaderják, Berci Papp, and Melinda Tír for excellent research assistance; and Gábor Kertesi and the TARKI Zrt. for their help with data collection. All data used in this article is available on Dataverse along with replication code (doi:10.7910/DVN/KBRXOR).



Hide All
Adorno, Theodor W., Frenkel-Brunswik, Else, Levinson, Daniel, and Sanford, Nevitt R.. 1950. The Authoritarian Personality. New York: Harper and Brothers.
Allport, Gordon W. 1954. The Nature of Prejudice. Oxford, UK: Addison-Wesley.
Al Ramiah, Ananthi, and Hewstone, Miles. 2013. “Intergroup Contact as a Tool for Reducing, Resolving, and Preventing Intergroup Conflict: Evidence, Limitations, and Potential.” American Psychologist 68 (7): 527–42.
Baron-Cohen, Simon. 1995. Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Batson, C. Daniel. 2011. Altruism in Humans. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Batson, C. Daniel, Early, Shannon, and Salvarani, Giovanni. 1997. “Perspective Taking: Imagining How Another Feels Versus Imaging How You Would Feel.” Personal and Social Psychological Bulletin 23 (7): 751–58.
Bergen, Doris. 2002. “The Role of Pretend Play in Children's Cognitive Development.”Early Childhood Research & Practice 4 (1): 1.
Broockman, David E., and Kalla, Joshua. 2016. “Durably Reducing Transphobia: A Field Experiment on Door-to-Door Canvassing.” Science 352 (6282): 220–4.
Broockman, David E., Kalla, Joshua L., and Sekhon, Jasjeet S.. 2017. “The Design of Field Experiments With Survey Outcomes: A Framework for Selecting More Efficient, Robust, and Ethical Designs.” Political Analysis. Published electronically September 18, 2017.
Bruneau, Emile, and Saxe, Rebecca. 2012. “The Power of being Heard: The Benefits of Perspective-Giving in the Context of Intergroup Conflict.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48 (4): 855–66.
Dovidio, John F., Vergert, Marleen ten, Stewart, Tracie L., Gaertner, Samuel L., Johnson, James D., Esses, Victoria M., Riek, Blake M., and Pearson, Adam R.. 2004. “Perspective and Prejudice: Antecedents and Mediating Mechanisms.” Personal and Social Psychological Bulletin 30 (12): 1537–49.
Eifert, Benn, Miguel, Edward, and Posner, Daniel N.. 2010. “Political Competition and Ethnic Identification in Africa.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (2): 494510.
Enos, Ryan D., and Gidron, Noam. 2016. “Intergroup Behavioral Strategies as Contextually Determined: Experimental Evidence from Israel.” The Journal of Politics, 78 (3): 851–67.
Franco, Annie, Malhotra, Niel, and Simonovits, Gábor. 2016. “Underreporting in Psychology Experiments: Evidence from a Study Registry.” Social Psychology and Personality Science 7 (1): 812.
Galinsky, Adam D., and Gillian, Ku. 2004. “The Effects of Perspective-Taking on Prejudice: The Moderating Role of Self-Evaluation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 30 (5): 594604.
Galinsky, Adam D., and Moskowitz, Gordon B.. 2000. “Perspective Taking: Decreasing Stereotype Expression, Stereotype Accessibility, and In-group Favoritism.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78 (4): 708–24.
Gerber, Alan S., and Green, Donald P.. 2012. Field Experiments: Design, Analysis, and Interpretation. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Ivarsflaten, Elisabeth. 2008. “What Unites Right-Wing Populists in Western Europe? Re-examining Grievance Mobilization Models in Seven Successful Cases.”Comparative Political Studies 41 (1): 323.
Karácsony, Gergely, and Róna, Daniel. 2011. “The Secret of Jobbik. Reasons behind the Rise of the Hungarian Radical Right.” Journal of East European & Asian Studies 2 (1): 6193.
Kardos, Péter, and Nyári, Gábor. 2004. Gypsy Maze: A Role Playing Game. Budapest: Jonathan Miller Press.
Kavanaugh, Robert D. 2006. “Pretend Play and Theory of Mind.” In Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues, eds. Balter, Lawrence and Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S.. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press, 153–66.
Lee, David S. 2009. “Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects.” The Review of Economic Studies 76 (3): 1071–102.
Leslie, Alan M. 1987. “Pretense and Representation: The Origins of “Theory of Mind.” Psychological Review 94 (4): 412–26.
Lucassen, Geertje, and Lubbers, Marcel. 2012. “Who Fears What? Explaining Far-Right-Wing Preference in Europe by Distinguishing Perceived Cultural and Economic Ethnic Threats.”Comparative Political Studies 45 (5): 547–74.
Marsh, Diane T., Serafica, Felicisima C., and Barenboim, Carl. 1980. “Effect of Perspective-Taking Training on Interpersonal Problem Solving.” Child Development 51 (1): 140–5.
Paluck, Elizabeth Levy. 2010. “Is It Better Not to Talk? Group Polarization, Extended Contact, and Perspective Taking in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.” Personal and Social Psychological Bulletin 36 (9): 1170–85.
Paluck, Elizabeth Levy, and Green, Donald P.. 2009. “Prejudice Reduction: What Works? A Critical Look at Evidence from the Field and the Laboratory.”Annual Review of Psychology 60: 339–67.
Pettigrew, Thomas F. 2009. “Secondary Transfer Effect of Contact: Do Intergroup Contact Effects Spread to Noncontacted Outgroups?Social Psychology 40: 5565.
Pettigrew, Thomas F., and Tropp, Linda R.. 2006. “A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 90 (5): 751–83.
Posner, Daniel N. 2004. “The Political Salience of Cultural Difference: Why Chewas and Tumbukas Are Allies in Zambia and Adversaries in Malawi.”American Political Science Review 98 (4): 529–45.
Samii, Cyrus. 2013. “Perils or Promise of Ethnic Integration? Evidence from a Hard Case in Burundi.” American Political Science Review 107 (3): 558–73.
Schmid, Katharina, Hewstone, Miles, Kupper, Beate, Zick, Andreas, and Wagner, Ulrich. 2012. “Secondary Transfer Effects of Intergroup Contact: A Cross-National Comparison in Europe.” Social Psychology Quarterly 75 (1): 2851.
Shook, Natalie J., and Fazio, Russell H.. 2008. “Interracial Roommate Relationships: An Experimental Field Test of the Contact Hypothesis.” Psychological Science 19 (7): 717–23.
Simonovits, Gábor, and Kézdi, Gábor. 2016. “Economic Hardship Triggers Identification with Disadvantaged Minorities.” The Journal of Politics 78 (3): 882–92.
Székelyi, Mária, Örkény, Antal, and Csepeli, György. 2001. “Romakép a mai magyar társadalomban.” Szociológiai Szemle 2001/3: 1946.
Tajfel, Henri. 1970. “Experiments in Intergroup Discrimination.” Scientific American. 223: 96102.
Tausch, Nicole, Hewstone, Miles, Kenworthy, Jared B., Psaltis, Charis, Schmid, Katharina, Popan, Jason R., Ed Cairns, and Hughes, Joanne. 2010. “‘Secondary Transfer’ Effects of Intergroup Contact: Alternative Accounts and Underlying Processes.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 99 (2): 282302.
Todd, Andrew R., and Galinsky, Adam D.. 2014. “Perspective-Taking as a Strategy for Improving Intergroup Relations: Evidence, Mechanisms, and Qualifications.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 8 (7): 374–87.
Vescio, Theresa, Sechrist, Gretchen B., and Paolucci, Matthew P.. 2003. “Perspective Taking and Prejudice Reduction: The Mediational Role of Empathy Arousal and Situational Attributions.” European Journal of Social Psychology 33 (4): 455–72.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Simonovits et al. Dataset

Supplementary materials

Simonovits et al supplementary material
Online Appendix

 PDF (400 KB)
400 KB

Seeing the World Through the Other's Eye: An Online Intervention Reducing Ethnic Prejudice



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.