Perspective-Takers Behave More Stereotypically

Adam D. Galinsky*, Cynthia S. Wang, Gillian Ku

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nine studies demonstrated that perspective-takers are particularly likely to adopt a target's positive and negative stereotypical traits and behaviors. Perspective-takers rated both positive and negative stereotypic traits of targets as more self-descriptive. As a result, taking the perspective of a professor led to improved performance on an analytic task, whereas taking the perspective of a cheerleader led to decreased performance, in line with the respective stereotypes of professors and cheerleaders. Similarly, perspective-takers of an elderly target competed less compared to perspective-takers of an African American target. Including the stereotype in the self (but not liking of the target) mediated the effects of perspective-taking on behavior, suggesting that cognitive and not affective processes drove the behavioral effects. These effects occurred using a measure and multiple manipulations of perspective-taking, as well as a panoply of stereotypes, establishing the robustness of the link between perspective-taking and stereotypical behavior. The findings support theorizing (A. D. Galinsky, G. Ku, & C. S. Wang, 2005) that perspective-takers utilize information, including stereotypes, to coordinate their behavior with others and provide key theoretical insights into the processes of both perspective-taking and behavioral priming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-419
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume95
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

Keywords

  • behavioral priming
  • including the other in the self
  • perspective-taking
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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