Perspective taking and empathy: does having similar past experience to another person make it easier to take their perspective?

Gerace, Adam, Day, Andrew, Casey, Sharon and Mohr, Philip 2015, Perspective taking and empathy: does having similar past experience to another person make it easier to take their perspective?, Journal of relationships research, vol. 6, no. e10, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.1017/jrr.2015.6.

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Title Perspective taking and empathy: does having similar past experience to another person make it easier to take their perspective?
Author(s) Gerace, Adam
Day, Andrew
Casey, Sharon
Mohr, Philip
Journal name Journal of relationships research
Volume number 6
Issue number e10
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Cambridge Univesity Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1838-0956
Keyword(s) perspective taking
role taking
empathy
past experience
empathic concern
personal distress
ease
Summary This study tested the hypothesis that it is easier to take the perspective of another person when one has similar past experience. Volunteer participants (N = 154) were asked to take the perspective of a protagonistin one of four problematic interpersonal situations and then to rate the ease with which they felt able to perspective take and the extent of their personal past experience of similar situations. Similar past experiencepredicted ease of perspective taking, with the relationship influenced by reflection on past experience. Ease of perspective taking mediated the relationship between similar past experience and participant perceptionsof their accuracy in understanding the other person, but ease was not associated with emotional arousal. The findings have potential therapeutic applications for attempts to increase empathy and understanding in people for whom perspective taking may be difficult.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/jrr.2015.6
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078352

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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