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Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
Frequently and accurately discerning others’ thoughts and feelings is associated with multiple valued educational outcomes across an array of settings. Despite its foundational role in social interactions, it is unclear whether individuals can be taught to improve their social perspective taking capacities. This experiment assesses whether a curriculum taught to US Army personnel (N = 116) improved their social perspective taking prior to deployment. Results showed that participants improved their social perspective taking in three ways: through more accurately detecting biases in others, by generating more initial hypotheses to explain others’ behaviours, and by adapting their hypotheses in the face of new evidence. The curriculum did not affect participants’ perspective taking accuracy on a video measure. We discuss these ﬁndings with respect to their implications for other learning environments.
social perspective taking; social cognition; interpersonal understanding; bias; person perception
Gehlbach, H., Young, L. Roan, L., (2012) Teaching social perspective taking: How educators might learn from the Army, Educational Psychology, 32(3), 295-309.