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 stereotype-inconsistent information.

A. Todd, Adam Galinsky, and G. Bodenhausen
Journal Article
Publication Date
Social Cognition

Full Citation

Todd, A., Adam Galinsky, and G. Bodenhausen
. “Perspective-taking undermines stereotype maintenance processes: Evidence from social memory, behavior explanation, and information solicitation.”
Social Cognition
, (January 01, 2012):