In contrast to the view that social perception has symmetric effects on judgments and behavior, the current research explored whether perspective-taking leads stereotypes to differentially affect judgments and behavior. Across three studies, perspective-takers consistently used stereotypes more in their own behavior while simultaneously using them less in their judgments of others. After writing about an African-American, perspective-taking tendencies were positively correlated with aggressive behavior but negatively correlated with judging others as aggressive. Similarly, after writing about an elderly man, perspective-takers walked more slowly and became more conservative, but judged others as less dependent. These divergent effects of perspective-taking on judgment and behavior occurred regardless of whether perspective-taking was manipulated or measured, whether judgments were measured before or after behavior, the stereotype that was activated, and participants' culture (American, Singaporean). These findings support theorizing that judgments and behavior can diverge when individuals' social strategies are geared towards establishing and maintaining social bonds, as well as provide insight into how perspective-taking helps individuals manage diversity.
- Interpersonal relations
- Social cognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science