Event Title

The Effect of Perspective Taking on Moral and Religious Convictions

Session Number

S01

Advisor(s)

Allison Mueller, University of Illinois at Chicago
Linda Skitka, University of Illinois at Chicago

Location

A-119

Start Date

28-4-2016 1:10 PM

End Date

28-4-2016 1:35 PM

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

In my study I examined whether taking on the perspective of someone with an opposing viewpoint on the issue of abortion can backfire. Usually, perspective taking is helpful to blur the line between two sides and help people to sympathize with the other side of the issue. However, we hypothesized that in the case of high moral and religious conviction, perspective taking will create a bigger difference between the ingroup and out-group. To test this hypothesis, we asked all participants to read convincing arguments on the issue of abortion that they opposed (i.e., pro-life participants read pro-choice arguments, and vice versa). However, the instructions we gave them for this task varied: We randomly assigned people to either take the perspective of the writer (perspective taking condition) or to pay attention to the writing style of the passage (control condition). Then, we recorded whether their moral and religious conviction towards the issue increased or decreased from their baseline levels of conviction. The investigation is still ongoing, but we predict that when asked to take on the perspective of another opposing party, people are more likely to double down on their own convictions instead of being swayed by the other side’s arguments.


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Apr 28th, 1:10 PM Apr 28th, 1:35 PM

The Effect of Perspective Taking on Moral and Religious Convictions

A-119

In my study I examined whether taking on the perspective of someone with an opposing viewpoint on the issue of abortion can backfire. Usually, perspective taking is helpful to blur the line between two sides and help people to sympathize with the other side of the issue. However, we hypothesized that in the case of high moral and religious conviction, perspective taking will create a bigger difference between the ingroup and out-group. To test this hypothesis, we asked all participants to read convincing arguments on the issue of abortion that they opposed (i.e., pro-life participants read pro-choice arguments, and vice versa). However, the instructions we gave them for this task varied: We randomly assigned people to either take the perspective of the writer (perspective taking condition) or to pay attention to the writing style of the passage (control condition). Then, we recorded whether their moral and religious conviction towards the issue increased or decreased from their baseline levels of conviction. The investigation is still ongoing, but we predict that when asked to take on the perspective of another opposing party, people are more likely to double down on their own convictions instead of being swayed by the other side’s arguments.