Four experiments examined the effects of perspective taking on processes contributing to stereotype maintenance: biases in social memory, behavior explanations, and information seeking. The first two experiments explored whether perspective taking influences memory and spontaneous explanations for stereotype-relevant behaviors. Relative to participants in an objective-focus condition, perspective takers exhibited better recall of stereotype-inconsistent behaviors (Experiment 1) and spontaneously generated more dispositional explanations for them (Experiment 2). Perspective taking had little effect, however, on memory and explanations for stereotype- consistent behaviors. The final two experiments examined the effects of perspective taking on information seeking. Employing a trait hypothesis- testing paradigm in which interviewers tested whether an interviewee was an extravert (Experiment 3a) or an introvert (Experiment 3b), we found that perspective-taking interviewers solicited more hypothesis-inconsistent information than did controls. The findings collectively indicate that perspective taking can be an effective strategy for undermining stereotype maintenance, primarily via its influence on the processing of stereotypeinconsistent information.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology