The Self in Social Inference: Antecedents and Consequences of Perspective Taking

Colloquium | October 4 | 12:10-1:15 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

 Andrew Todd, Assistant Professor, UC Davis

 Institute of Personality and Social Research

The ability to intuit what other people are thinking and feeling with some degree of accuracy is essential for effective communication and social coordination, making it important to understand both the factors that give rise to and the consequences that follow from perspective taking. In this talk, I’ll provide an overview of a program of research that examines the role of the self as an informational base in reasoning about other people’s mental states. I’ll describe some work that identifies a perceiver-based factor—incidental experiences of anxiety—that can shape people’s reliance on their own visuospatial perspective and self-knowledge when making inferences about what others see and know. I’ll also describe some work that explores how people’s active efforts to consider others' perspectives affect the extent to which they use their own likes and dislikes to guide their inferences about others’ preferences.

 ipsr@berkeley.edu, 510-642-5050