Changing Places. A Dual Judgment Model of Empathy Gaps in Emotional Perspective Taking.

Leaf Van Boven*, George Loewenstein, David Dunning, Loran F. Nordgren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

65 Scopus citations


Emotional perspective taking involves people's attempts to estimate the attitudes, preferences, and behaviors of other people who are in different emotional situations. We propose a dual judgment model in which perspective takers first predict what their own reactions would be to different emotional situations, and, second, adjust these self-predictions to accommodate perceived differences between themselves and others. Prior literature has focused on egocentric biases in the second judgment, perceived differences and similarities between the self and others. We propose that significant errors in emotional perspective taking often arise from the first judgment, people's predictions of what their own attitudes, preferences, and behaviors would be in different emotional situations. Specifically, people exhibit " empathy gaps," underestimating how much emotional situations influence their own attitudes, preferences, and behaviors. We review evidence that provides support for (a) the dual judgment model of emotional perspective taking, (b) the occurrence of empathy gaps in self-predictions, and (c) the occurrence of empathy gaps in social predictions that are mediated by empathy gaps in self-judgments. We discuss implications of empathy gaps in emotional perspective taking for social behavior, social judgment, and for other forms of perspective taking and affective forecasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Number of pages55
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
ISSN (Print)0065-2601


  • Decision making
  • Egocentrism
  • Emotion
  • Empathy gap
  • Perspective taking
  • Social judgment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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