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

Ethics in Groups

ISBN: 978-0-76231-300-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-405-8

Publication date: 11 July 2006


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.


Caruso, E.M., Epley, N. and Bazerman, M.H. (2006), "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Perspective Taking in Groups", Tenbrunsel, A.E. (Ed.) Ethics in Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 201-224.



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