Resisting perspective-taking: Glorification of the national group elicits non-compliance with perspective-taking instructions

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Abstract

Perspective-taking is often used to reduce prejudice towards disadvantaged or stigmatized outgroups. We took a different tack and tested the idea that the instruction to take another's perspective may induce reactance and (therefore) non-compliance amongst those who are prejudiced (i.e., those who glorify their national ingroup). Two studies showed that, amongst Australian glorifiers, the mere instruction to take the perspective of an asylum seeker elicited non-compliance. Study 1 (N = 117) and Study 2 (N = 330) demonstrated that glorifiers perceived asylum seekers as a realistic threat to Australian interests, indirectly promoting non-compliance with the perspective-taking instruction through prejudice against asylum seekers and psychological reactance against the perspective-taking instruction. Both studies indicated that, when instructed to take the perspective of an asylum seeker, reactance led glorifiers to respond from their own perspective. Study 2 also provides an experimental test of hypotheses by manipulating glorification. The findings highlight (1) that perspective-taking can elicit active resistance amongst those who glorify their national group and (2) the role of mode of identification as a point of origin in understanding the division in public attitudes towards refugees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume79
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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