Motivational antecedents of perspective taking
Since September 2008 - open-ended project
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Perspective taking, that is, intuiting the perceptual, cognitive or emotional experiences of other individuals is a central component of successful social interaction. Research concerning perspective taking has focused mainly on the positive consequences of perspective taking, demonstrating that it reduces stereotypes and prejudices (Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000) and also increases prosocial behavior (Cialdini, Brown, Lewis, Luce, & Neuberg, 1997). However, little is known about motivational influences on perspective taking, especially on influences of different self-regulatory strategies on perspective taking.
The current project views perspective taking as a goal-determined behavior which can be influenced by different self-regulatory strategies. The core concept addressing self-regulatory processes in this project is Regulatory Focus Theory (Higgins, 1997), which states that the concern for accomplishment is regulated in a promotion focus while the concern for security is regulated in a prevention focus. In a prevention focus, goals are perceived as obligations which are attained applying vigilance-based, conservative behavioral strategies. In a promotion focus, goals are perceived as aspirations which are attained by eagerness-driven risky behavioral strategies. In laboratory studies the differential influence of these two self-regulatory strategies on perspective taking and their influence on the underlying social-cognitive processes is examined.
Furthermore, the project aims at investigating the moderating role of self-regulatory strategies on the impact of mimicry on emotion recognition as one implementation of perspective taking. The influence of digital media on perspective taking in computer-mediated communication is considered as well.