Perspective Taking Combats Automatic Expressions of Racial Bias

Department of Psychology, University of Cologne, Germany.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 03/2011; 100(6):1027-42. DOI: 10.1037/a0022308
Source: PubMed


Five experiments investigated the hypothesis that perspective taking--actively contemplating others' psychological experiences--attenuates automatic expressions of racial bias. Across the first 3 experiments, participants who adopted the perspective of a Black target in an initial context subsequently exhibited more positive automatic interracial evaluations, with changes in automatic evaluations mediating the effect of perspective taking on more deliberate interracial evaluations. Furthermore, unlike other bias-reduction strategies, the interracial positivity resulting from perspective taking was accompanied by increased salience of racial inequalities (Experiment 3). Perspective taking also produced stronger approach-oriented action tendencies toward Blacks (but not Whites; Experiment 4). A final experiment revealed that face-to-face interactions with perspective takers were rated more positively by Black interaction partners than were interactions with nonperspective takers--a relationship that was mediated by perspective takers' increased approach-oriented nonverbal behaviors (as rated by objective, third-party observers). These findings indicate that perspective taking can combat automatic expressions of racial biases without simultaneously decreasing sensitivity to ongoing racial disparities.

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    • "At an implicit level, perspective-taking has been found to decrease automatic expressions of racial bias (Shih, Stotzer, & Gutiérrez, 2013; Todd, Bodenhausen, et al., 2011; Todd & Burgmer, 2013). For example, using the Implicit Association Test (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) and compared to objective-focus participants, perspective-takers demonstrate less bias towards African Americans relative to Whites (Todd, Bodenhausen, et al., 2011). Similarly, Galinsky and Moskowitz (2000) found that stereotype suppression increases the hyperaccessibility of stereotypes (see also Macrae, Bodenhausen, Milne, & Jetten, 1994), but perspective-taking prevents this increased stereotype accessibility. "
    Research in Organizational Behavior 07/2015; · 2.06 Impact Factor
    • "Second, as we have outlined previously, more negative implications of imagineother as compared to imagine-self perspective-taking critically depend on the potential for evaluation. Some previous research that has directly compared imagineself and imagine-other perspective-taking has found their effects to be similar (e.g., Todd et al., 2011, Study 1). Yet, none of these studies have compared these forms of perspective-taking in a context characterized by the potential for evaluation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Two experiments tested the hypothesis that imagine-other and imagineself perspective-taking have different implications for prejudice reduction when instantiated in intergroup exchanges characterized by the potential for evaluation. We reasoned that because imagine-other perspective-taking is more likely than imagine-self perspective-taking to lead individuals to an unproductive focus on how they themselves are evaluated, imagine-other perspective-taking would hinder prejudice reduction whereas imagine-self perspective-taking would not. Results across two different intergroup relationships were consistent with these predictions and further suggested that the negative implications of imagine-other perspective-taking were mediated by relative meta-stereotype activation, an index of the extent to which individuals focused more on how their own group was viewed than on their view of the outgroup. These findings highlight that considering how individuals' concerns with evaluation guide their thoughts and experiences during intergroup exchanges can help identify the likely effects of different intervention strategies in such contexts.
    Social Cognition 04/2014; 32(2):130-147. DOI:10.1521/soco.2014.32.2.130 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    • "Finally, Vorauer and colleagues' research have focused on one specific target group: Aboriginals from Canada (Vorauer, Martens, et al., 2009; Vorauer & Sasaki, 2009). In contrast, the positive effects of perspective-taking on prejudice reduction and intergroup interaction have been shown across a number of groups – African Americans (Galinsky, Wang, et al., 2008; Todd et al., 2011; Vescio et al., 2003), Hispanics (Todd, Bodenhausen, & Galinsky, 2012), the elderly (Galinsky & Ku, 2004; Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000; Galinsky, Wang, et al., 2008), hooligans (the current research), occupational groups (Wang et al., 2013), and medical patients (Blatt et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The current research explored whether perspective-taking increases willingness to engage in contact with stereotyped outgroup members. Across three studies, we find that perspective-taking increases willingness to engage in contact with negatively-stereotyped targets. In Study 1, perspective-takers sat closer to, whereas stereotype suppressors sat further from, a hooligan compared to control participants. In Study 2, individual differences in perspective-taking tendencies predicted individuals' willingness to engage in contact with a hooligan, having effects above and beyond those of empathic concern. Finally, Study 3 demonstrated that perspective-taking's effects on intergroup contact extend to the target's group (i.e., another homeless man), but not to other outgroups (i.e., a man of African descent). Consistent with other perspective-taking research, our findings show that perspective-taking facilitates the creation of social bonds by increasing contact with stereotyped outgroup members.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85681. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085681 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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