Empathy neglect: reconciling the spotlight effect and the correspondence bias.

Published on Aug 1, 2002in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
· DOI :10.1037/0022-3514.83.2.300
Nicholas Epley46
Estimated H-index: 46
(Harvard University),
Kenneth Savitsky19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Williams College),
Thomas Gilovich61
Estimated H-index: 61
(Cornell University)
Sources
Abstract
When people commit an embarrassing blunder, they typically overestimate how harshly they will be judged by others. This tendency can seem to fly in the face of research on the correspondence bias, which has established that observers are, in fact, quite likely to draw harsh dispositional inferences about others. These seemingly inconsistent literatures are reconciled by showing that actors typically neglect to consider the extent to which observers will moderate their correspondent inferences when they can easily adopt an actor’s perspective or imagine being in his or her shoes. These results help to explain why actors can overestimate the strength of observers’ dispositional inferences even when, as the literature on the correspondence bias attests, observers are notoriously prone to drawing those very inferences.
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