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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Sep;87(3):327-39.

Perspective taking as egocentric anchoring and adjustment.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.


The authors propose that people adopt others' perspectives by serially adjusting from their own. As predicted, estimates of others' perceptions were consistent with one's own but differed in a manner consistent with serial adjustment (Study 1). Participants were slower to indicate that another's perception would be different from--rather than similar to--their own (Study 2). Egocentric biases increased under time pressure (Study 2) and decreased with accuracy incentives (Study 3). Egocentric biases also increased when participants were more inclined to accept plausible values encountered early in the adjustment process than when inclined to reject them (Study 4). Finally, adjustments tend to be insufficient, in part, because people stop adjusting once a plausible estimate is reached (Study 5).

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