Skip to main content
×
×
Home

An Exploratory Investigation of the Process of Perspective Taking in Interpersonal Situations

  • Adam Gerace (a1) (a2), Andrew Day (a3), Sharon Casey (a3) and Philip Mohr (a4)
Abstract

The ability to take the perspectives of others is considered a prerequisite for effective interpersonal interaction. Despite extensive investigation into the correlates of perspective taking, there have been few previous attempts to understand the process by which people take another's psychological point of view. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify the strategies used by individuals when attempting to take the perspective of another person. Twelve participants discussed a time they engaged in perspective taking. The analysis revealed that perspective taking was used in situations in which significant negative emotions could arise, and that participants shifted between the use of self-information (e.g., switching places, past experience) and other-information (e.g., target's personal characteristics) during the process of perspective taking. Different emotions and cognitions were associated with taking one's own perspective and taking that of the other person. The study provides a direct consideration of an under-investigated component of social and personal relationships.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      An Exploratory Investigation of the Process of Perspective Taking in Interpersonal Situations
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      An Exploratory Investigation of the Process of Perspective Taking in Interpersonal Situations
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      An Exploratory Investigation of the Process of Perspective Taking in Interpersonal Situations
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Adam Gerace, Flinders University of South Australia, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001. Email: adam.gerace@flinders.edu.au
References
Hide All
Ames, D.R. (2004). Inside the mind reader's tool kit: Projection and stereotyping in mental state inference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 340353.
Batson, C.D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Batson, C.D. (2011). Altruism in humans. New York: Oxford University Press.
Batson, C.D., Early, S., & Salvarani, G. (1997). Perspective taking: Imagining how another feels versus imagining how you would feel. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 751758.
Batson, C.D., Lishner, D.A., Carpenter, A., Dulin, L., Harjusola-Webb, S., Stocks, E.L., . . . Sampat, B. (2003). ‘. . . As you would have them do unto you’: Does imagining yourself in the other's place stimulate moral action? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 11901201.
Bohart, A.C., Elliott, R., Greenberg, L.S., & Watson, J.C. (2002). Empathy. In Norcross, J.C. (Ed.), Psychotherapy relationships that work: Therapist contributions and responsiveness to patients (pp. 89108). New York: Oxford University Press.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77101.
Coricelli, G. (2005). Two-levels of mental state attribution: From automaticity to voluntariness. Neuropsychologia, 43, 294300.
Cottrell, L.S. Jr. (1942). The analysis of situational fields in social psychology. American Sociological Review, 7, 370382.
Davis, M.H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113126.
Davis, M.H. (1994). Empathy: A social psychological approach. Dubuque, IA: Brown & Benchmark Publishers.
Davis, M.H., Conklin, L., Smith, A., & Luce, C. (1996). Effect of perspective taking on the cognitive representation of persons: A merging of self and other. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 713726.
Davis, M.H., & Oathout, H.A. (1987). Maintenance of satisfaction in romantic relationships: Empathy and relational competence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 397410.
Davis, M.H., Soderlund, T., Cole, J., Gadol, E., Kute, M., Myers, M., & Weihing, J. (2004). Cognitions associated with attempts to empathize: How do we imagine the perspective of another? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 16251635.
Day, A., Mohr, P., Howells, K., Gerace, A., & Lim, L. (2012). The role of empathy in anger arousal in violent offenders and university students. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56, 599613.
Dymond, R.F. (1949). A scale for the measurement of empathic ability. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 13, 127133.
Dymond, R.F. (1950). Personality and empathy. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 14, 343350.
Epley, N., Keysar, B., Van Boven, L., & Gilovich, T. (2004). Perspective taking as egocentric anchoring and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 327339.
Fennis, B.M. (2011). Can't get over me: Ego depletion attenuates prosocial effects of perspective taking. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 580585.
Flavell, J.H. (2004). Theory-of-mind development: Retrospect and prospect. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50, 274290.
Goldman, A.I. (1995). Interpretation psychologized. In Davies, M. & Stone, T. (Eds.), Folk psychology: The theory of mind debate (pp. 7499). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. (Original work published 1989).
Gopnik, A., & Meltzoff, A.N. (1997). Words, thoughts, and theories. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Gopnik, A., & Wellman, H.M. (1994). The theory theory. In Hirschfeld, L.A. & Gelman, S.A. (Eds.), Mapping the mind: Domain specificity in cognition and culture (pp. 257293). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gordon, R.M. (1995). Folk psychology as simulation. In Davies, M. & Stone, T. (Eds.), Folk psychology: The theory of mind debate (pp. 6073). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. (Original work published 1986).
Guerin, B. (2004). Handbook for analyzing the social strategies of everyday life. Reno, NV: Context Press.
Håkansson, J., & Montgomery, H. (2003). Empathy as an interpersonal phenomenon. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 267284.
Hodges, S.D., & Wegner, D.M. (1997). Automatic and controlled empathy. In Ickes, W. (Ed.), Empathic accuracy (pp. 311339). New York: The Guilford Press.
Hoffman, M.L. (1978). Toward a theory of empathic arousal and development. In Lewis, M. & Rosenblum, L.A. (Eds.), The development of affect (pp. 227256). New York: Plenum Press.
Hoffman, M.L. (1990). Empathy and justice motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 14, 151172.
Hoffman, M.L. (2000). Empathy and moral development: Implications for caring and justice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ickes, W., Stinson, L., Bissonnette, V., & Garcia, S. (1990). Naturalistic social cognition: Empathic accuracy in mixed-sex dyads. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 730742.
Karniol, R. (1986). What will they think of next? Transformation rules used to predict other people's thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 932944.
Karniol, R., & Shomroni, D. (1999). What being empathic means: Applying the transformation rule approach to individual differences in predicting the thoughts and feelings of prototypic and nonprototypic others. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 147160.
Kerem, E., Fishman, N., & Josselson, R. (2001). The experience of empathy in everyday relationships: Cognitive and affective elements. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18, 709729.
Lennon, R., & Eisenberg, N. (1987). Gender and age differences in empathy and sympathy. In Eisenberg, N. & Strayer, J. (Eds.), Empathy and its development (pp. 195217). New York: Cambridge University Press.
McCullough, M.E., Worthington, E.L. Jr., & Rachal, K.C. (1997). Interpersonal forgiving in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 321336.
Mead, G.H. (1964). The problem of society — how we become selves. In Strauss, A. (Ed.), On social psychology: Selected papers (pp. 1942). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1936).
Mehrabian, A., & Epstein, N. (1972). A measure of emotional empathy. Journal of Personality, 40, 525543.
Okimoto, T.G., & Wenzel, M. (2011). The other side of perspective taking: Transgression ambiguity and victims’ revenge against their offender. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 373378.
Preston, S.D., & Hofelich, A.J. (2012). The many faces of empathy: Parsing empathic phenomena through a proximate, dynamic-systems view of representing the other in the self. Emotion Review, 4, 2433.
Regan, D.T., & Totten, J. (1975). Empathy and attribution: Turning observers into actors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 850856.
Roβnagel, C. (2000). Cognitive load and perspective-taking: Applying the automatic-controlled distinction to verbal communication. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 429440.
Rogers, C.R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21, 95103.
Rubin, H.J., & Rubin, I.S. (2005). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Smith, J.A. (1996). Beyond the divide between cognition and discourse: Using interpretative phenomenological analysis in health psychology. Psychology and Health, 11, 261271.
Stinson, L., & Ickes, W. (1992). Empathic accuracy in the interactions of male friends versus male strangers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 787797.
Stotland, E. (1969). Exploratory investigations of empathy. In Berkowitz, L. (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 271314). New York: Academic Press.
Todd, A.R., Hanko, K., Galinsky, A., & Mussweiler, T. (2011). When focusing on differences leads to similar perspectives. Psychological Science, 22, 134141.
Van Boven, L., & Loewenstein, G. (2003). Social projection of transient drive states. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 11591168.
Vorauer, J.D., & Sucharyna, T.A. (2013). Potential negative effects of perspective-taking efforts in the context of close relationships: Increased bias and reduced satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 7086.
Wispé, L. (1986). The distinction between sympathy and empathy: To call forth a concept, a word is needed. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 314321.
Zhou, Q., Valiente, C., & Eisenberg, N. (2003). Empathy and its measurement. In Lopez, S.J. & Snyder, C.R. (Eds.), Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures (pp. 269284). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Relationships Research
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1838-0956
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-relationships-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

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