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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Perspective Taking in Groups

40 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2004  

Eugene M. Caruso

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Nicholas Epley

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Max H. Bazerman

Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

Group members often reason egocentrically, both when allocating responsibility for collective endeavors and when assessing the fairness of group outcomes. These self-centered judgments are reduced when participants consider their other group members individually or actively adopt their perspectives. However, reducing an egocentric focus through perspective taking may also invoke cynical theories about how others will behave, particularly in competitive contexts. Expecting more selfish behavior from other group members may result in more self-interested behavior from the perspective takers themselves. This suggests that one common approach to conflict resolution between and within groups can have unfortunate consequences on actual behavior.

Suggested Citation

Caruso, Eugene M. and Epley, Nicholas and Bazerman, Max H., The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Perspective Taking in Groups (May 2004). Harvard NOM Working Paper No. 05-08; Harvard PON Working Paper No. 04-123; HBS Working Paper 05-036. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=627461 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.627461

Eugene M. Caruso (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Nicholas Epley

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. 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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