When Perspective Taking Increases Taking: Reactive Egoism in Social Interaction

People often egocentrically believe that they deserve more than their fair share of available resources. Although some previous research suggests that perspective taking may help reduce such conflict, the present research finds that considering the thoughts of others may actually increase selfish behavior. We demonstrate this effect in competitive contexts where considering others' perspectives activates egoistic theories of their likely behavior, leading people to behave more egoistically themselves. This "reactive egoism" is attenuated in cooperative contexts. We offer suggestions for when and how it is beneficial for people to look beyond their own perspective.



Citation:

Eugene Caruso, Nicholas Epley, and Max Bazerman (2008) ,"When Perspective Taking Increases Taking: Reactive Egoism in Social Interaction", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 242-245.

Authors

Eugene Caruso, University of Chicago
Nicholas Epley, University of Chicago
Max Bazerman, Harvard University



Volume

NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008



Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More

Featured

K7. Responses to Online Behavioral Advertising Disclosures: Effects of Disclosure Source Trustworthiness and Message Type on Advertising Outcomes

Iris van Ooijen, University of Twente

Read More

Featured

N2. The Devil Wears FAKE Prada: Dual Envy Theory Explains Why Consumers Intend to Purchase Non-Deceptive Luxury Counterfeits

Tanvi Gupta, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Preeti Krishnan Lyndem, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Read More

Featured

Safety or Luxury: The Effect of Competitiveness on Consumer Preference in Social Crowding

Lijun Zhang, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Yee Ling, Elaine Chan, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.