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http://ssrn.com/abstract=785989
 
 

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When Perspective Taking Increases Taking: Reactive Egoism in Social Interaction


Nicholas Epley


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Eugene M. Caruso


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Max H. Bazerman


Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

August 18, 2005

Harvard NOM Working Paper No. 06-02

Abstract:     
Group members often reason egocentrically, believing that they deserve more than their fair share of group resources. Leading people to consider others members' perspectives can reduce these egocentric (self-centered) judgments, such that people claim that it is fair for them to take less, but it actually increases egoistic (selfish) behavior, such that people actually take more of available resources. Four experiments demonstrate this pattern in competitive contexts where considering others' perspectives activates egoistic theories of their likely behavior, leading people to counter by behaving more egoistically themselves. This reactive egoism is attenuated in cooperative contexts. Discussion focuses on the implications of reactive egoism in social interaction, and on strategies for alleviating its potentially deleterious effects.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 65

Keywords: Reactive Egoism, Egocentrism, Perspective Taking, Negotiation, Conflict

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Date posted: August 23, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Epley, Nicholas and Caruso, Eugene M. and Bazerman, Max H., When Perspective Taking Increases Taking: Reactive Egoism in Social Interaction (August 18, 2005). Harvard NOM Working Paper No. 06-02. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=785989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.785989

Contact Information

Nicholas Epley (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Eugene M. Caruso
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Max H. Bazerman
Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit ( email )
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6429 (Phone)
617-496-4191 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mbazerman
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