Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
Topics
Discussion
Announcements

The Social Perspective Taking Process: What Motivates Individuals to Take Another’s Perspective?


by Hunter Gehlbach, Maureen E. Brinkworth & Ming-Te Wang — 2012

Background/Context: A growing literature describes multiple benefits of social perspective taking—many of which are particularly important for schools. Despite these potential benefits for administrators, counselors, teachers, and students, little is known about social perspective taking as a process.

Purpose/Research Question: If educational researchers are ultimately to design interventions to help improve the perspective-taking capacities of those in schools, they need to fully understand the underlying process. Particularly important is the need to understand: What initially motivates individuals to take the perspective of others?

Participants: To investigate this question, a sample of 18 adults from an array of different professions (who were nominated as adept perspective takers) and 13 high school students (who were nominated as struggling with social perspective taking) participated in the study.

Research Design: Participants completed a survey, a performance task, and in-depth interviews as part of this mixed-method exploratory study. The interviews served as the primary source of data and were coded for evidence of what triggered (or inhibited) participants’ motivation to engage in the social perspective-taking process.

Findings: The interview data established the existence of 13 specific factors that impacted participants’ motivation to engage in social perspective taking across a wide array of contexts. Seven factors generally enhanced individuals’ motivation to engage in social perspective taking; three factors were mixed; and three factors inhibited their motivation.

Conclusions/Recommendations: This research indicates that not only might individuals be motivated to engage in social perspective taking through multiple pathways, but these pathways might be combined and/or interact with one another. These motivating factors raise important issues for further research. In addition, at a practical level, they provide a foundation for developing structures to motivate individuals in schools to engage in perspective taking more often.



To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase The Social Perspective Taking Process: What Motivates Individuals to Take Another’s Perspective?
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 114 Number 1, 2012, p. 1-29
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16208, Date Accessed: 10/19/2017 11:30:44 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools

Related Media


Related Articles

Related Discussion
 
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Hunter Gehlbach
    Harvard University
    E-mail Author
    HUNTER GEHLBACH is an assistant professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. His primary interests lie in using social psychological principles and research to improve schools. He also maintains an active research interest in how to most effectively design questionnaires. Recent publications include “Motivated Thinkers and the Mistakes They Make” in Advances in Motivation and Achievement: Social Psychological Perspectives (with Maureen Brinkworth) and an article in Educational Psychology Review entitled “The Social Side of School: Why Teachers Need Social Psychology.”
  • Maureen Brinkworth
    Harvard University
    MAUREEN E. BRINKWORTH is a doctoral candidate at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She is interested in how social perspective taking impacts different aspects of secondary classrooms—particularly the relationships between teachers and students. Her recent work includes “Motivated Thinkers and the Mistakes They Make” in Advances in Motivation and Achievement: Social Psychological Perspectives (with Hunter Gehlbach).
  • Ming-Te Wang
    Harvard University
    MING-TE WANG recently completed his doctorate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. His research interests focus on adolescent development in school, family, and community settings, achievement motivation and engagement, and low-income community contexts. Recent publications include “Adolescents’ Perceptions of School Environment, Engagement, and Academic Achievement in Middle School” (with Rebecca Holcombe in American Educational Research Journal) and a forthcoming article in the Journal of Educational Psychology entitled “Longitudinal Trajectories of Three Dimensions of School Engagement During Adolescence.”
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue

Submit
EMAIL

Twitter

RSS