The positive effect of perspective taking on favorable attitudes towards stigmatized individuals and outgroups is well established (Batson et al., 1997). We draw on the ingroup projection model (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999) to better understand the processes underlying this effect. Based on their egocentric perspective, ingroup and outgroup members have different representations of the superordinate group (perspective divergence) so that the ingroup is perceived as more relatively prototypical of the superordinate group, leading to negative outgroup evaluation. We hypothesize that the positive effect of perspective taking on outgroup attitudes is due to a reduction of relative ingroup prototypicality. Across three studies with different manipulations of perspective taking, we found that participants who were taking the perspective of an outgroup member evaluated the outgroup more positively and were less inclined to perceive their ingroup as more relatively prototypical. The effect of perspective taking on outgroup attitudes was mediated by relative ingroup prototypicality.
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- attitude towards outgroup
- perspective taking
- relative ingroup prototypicality