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

Version 2 2024-06-06, 12:34
Version 1 2015-09-17, 13:33
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 12:34 authored by A Gerace, A Day, S Casey, P Mohr
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 protagonist in 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 experience predicted 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 perceptions of 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.

History

Journal

Journal of relationships research

Volume

6

Pagination

1-14

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

1838-0956

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Issue

e10

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)