Title

Stupid Doctors and Smart Construction Workers: Perspective-taking Reduces Stereotyping of Both Negative and Positive Targets

Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Postprint

Publication Date

9-2013

Abstract

Numerous studies have found that perspective-taking reduces stereotyping and prejudice, but they have only involved negative stereotypes. Because target negativity has been empirically confounded with reduced stereotyping, the general effects of perspective-taking on stereotyping and prejudice are unclear. By including both positively and negatively stereotyped targets, this research offers the first empirical test of two competing hypotheses: The positivity hypothesis predicts that perspective-taking produces a positivity bias, with less stereotyping of negative targets but more stereotyping of positive targets. In contrast, the stereotype-reduction hypothesis predicts that perspective-taking reduces stereotyping, regardless of target valence. Three studies support the stereotype-reduction hypothesis. Perspective-taking also produced less positive attitudes toward positive targets, with reduced stereotyping mediating this effect. A final study demonstrated that perspective-taking reduced all stereotyping because it increased self–other overlap. These findings help answer fundamental questions about perspective-taking’s effects and processes, and provide evidence that perspective-taking does not improve attitudes invariantly.

Keywords

prejudice, stereotyping, intergroup relations, perspective-taking, self/identity, self-esteem

Discipline

Organizational Behavior and Theory | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Social Psychological and Personality Science

ISSN

1948-5506

Identifier

10.1177/1948550613504968

Publisher

SAGE