Anna Szuster, Alicja Gniewek, Agnieszka Wojnarowska
Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw
Research shows that the ability to take the perspective of another person, situational and dispositional, can significantly modify interpersonal and intergroup relationships by reducing stereotypes and antisocial behaviour. In presented research we explored how different expressions of dispositional perspective taking – empathy and exocentric pro-social orientation – relate to the way people perceive and evaluate others. The first study (N = 94) focused on perceiving emotions of others, including infra-humanization effect, while the main focus of the second study (N = 120) was to assess one’s attitude toward a person, who belongs to a different social group. The results reveal that along with higher level of exocentric orientation the perception of others’ emotions is less biased – out-group members are perceived as experiencing more intensive emotions than usually. Moreover, the research showed a negative correlation between exocentric orientation and infra-humanization. It was also found that empathy corresponds with having more positive opinions about others – including judgments of impressions, adequacy of behaviour and to some point estimation of competence. Empathy was also connected to declaration of a shorter psychological distance between the subject and the other. Those results support previous findings about perspective taking and its role in constraining social biases.
Keywords: taking others’ perspective, empathy, exocentric pro-social orientation, infra-humanization
Cite this article as:
Szuster, A., Gniewek, A., Wojnarowska, A. (2016). Perspective taking: On exocentrism and empathy as dispositional manifestation of the process and their relationships with perception of others. Psychologia Społeczna, 39, 399–413. doi: 10.7366/1896180020163902