Perspective Taking Shapes the Impact of Significant-other Representations

Jeanine L. Skorinko, Stacey Sinclair, Lindsey Conklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Past research has shown that people's reported beliefs come to correspond with the apparent beliefs of salient significant others (e.g., Andersen & Chen, 2002; Baldwin, 1997). The current research extends this work by examining the degree to which such effects are influenced by perspective taking. In a modification of the classic paradigm used by Baldwin and Holmes (1987), 96 undergraduates (33 males, 62 females, and 1 unreported) were primed to perspective take or given a neutral prime before visualizing an older family member and reading an article about sexual dreams. As predicted, perspective taking enhanced the effect of significant other priming; participants who took the perspective of an older family member liked the sex article less than those who did not perspective take. Experiment 2 (39 males and 28 female undergraduates) demonstrated that this consequence of perspective taking was limited to significant others and did not extend to category exemplars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-184
Number of pages15
JournalSelf and Identity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • Perspective taking
  • Relational schemas
  • Self
  • Significant-other representations


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