Perspective-taking is the act of perceiving a situation or understanding a concept from an alternative point-of-view, such as that of another individual.
Perspective-taking is the process by which an individual views a situation from another's point-of-view. Perspective-taking can occur visually in that one changes their physical location to see things as someone else does. Perspective-taking can also occur cognitively in that one mentally simulates the point-of-view of another’s cognitive state. For instance, one can visualize the viewpoint of a taller individual (physical state) or reflect upon another's point-of-view on a particular concept (cognitive state). In other words, perspective-taking is the process of temporarily suspending one’s own point-of-view in an attempt to view a situation as someone else might. Several strategies used for taking another’s perspective have been identified, included imagining oneself in the other’s place, using one’s own similar past experience to understand another’s situation, and applying general knowledge (e.g., stereotypes) about how people are likely to react in particular situations. This process does not necessitate any form of affinity, compassion, or emotional identification with the other. Therefore, as an other-oriented activity, perspective-taking can be used to gain an understanding of a given physical state and/or situation after which a determination of appropriate action can be selected (e.g., empathy). Perspective-taking ability appears to be greater in adults than children, because adults are more able to correct and adopt the perspective of another person.
It is important to understand that perspective-taking is exclusively the process of taking an alternate point-of-view. For example, one can perspective-take a fellow individual’s thoughts and feelings. However, the perspective-taking process does not necessarily lead to feelings of empathy. Rather, that determination may be made after the perspective-taking process has concluded. To demonstrate this point, Davis cites 18th century Scottish philosopher Adam Smith and 19th century British anthropologist and sociologist Herbert Spencer. Both Smith and Spencer wrote about perspective-taking as a "cognitive, intellectual reaction" and empathy as a "visceral, emotional reaction" (p. 113). Because this differentiation is commonly overlooked, perspective-taking is frequently conflated with empathy. For this reason, the use of perspective-taking and empathy as synonyms is decidedly prevalent within the scientific literature. The differentiation between empathy and perspective taking has been substantiated by studies on the perception of characters in computer animation. Although a computer-modeled human character may elicit feelings of eeriness known as the uncanny valley phenomenon, this negative emotional response suppresses the perceiver's empathy for the character but has no significant effect on level 1 visual perspective taking.
As research has explicated the perspective-taking and empathic processes, there has been a push to differentiate between these activities. For instance, Farrant, Devine, Maybery, and Fletcher set forth a definition of empathy that includes the perspective-taking process; however, it is referred to as cognitive empathy. Similarly, Ashton and Fuehrer use the term ‘affective perspective-taking’ to describe the empathy construct. Even though researchers are striving to differentiate between these processes, conflation of these terms remains common in the scientific literature.
The benefits and applications of perspective-taking show themselves in a wide variety of situations. Several studies indicate that perspective-taking has a positive impact on social interactions and relations.
None of the audio/visual content is hosted on this site. All media is embedded from other sites such as GoogleVideo, Wikipedia, YouTube etc. Therefore, this site has no control over the copyright issues of the streaming media.
All issues concerning copyright violations should be aimed at the sites hosting the material. This site does not host any of the streaming media and the owner has not uploaded any of the material to the video hosting servers. Anyone can find the same content on Google Video or YouTube by themselves.
The owner of this site cannot know which documentaries are in public domain, which has been uploaded to e.g. YouTube by the owner and which has been uploaded without permission. The copyright owner must contact the source if he wants his material off the Internet completely.