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Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

Publication Date



Routledge Publishing

Document Type



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.

Publisher City



social perspective taking; social cognition; interpersonal understanding; bias; person perception



Teaching social perspective taking:  How educators might learn from the Army



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