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Perspective Taking as a Means of Reducing Negative Stereotyping of Individuals Who Speak English as a Second Language1


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    The author thanks Virginia Lewis and Eugenia Navas for providing the voices on the stimulus recordings; AnyMary Weyant for writing the script for the stimulus recordings; and Alison Herdocia, Janae Draper, and Lindsy Giebel for serving as experimenters.

James M. Weyant, Department of Psychology, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110. E-mail:


As a test of the hypothesis that perspective taking reduces stereotyping of individuals who speak English as a second language, 160 college students participated in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment. Participants heard an audio recording of either a native or non-native speaker of English. Then, they wrote a paragraph about the speaker either with instructions to take the speaker's perspective or with no perspective-taking instructions. Finally, they rated the speaker on characteristics related to ability and accomplishment. Overall, the participants rated the native speaker of English more highly than the non-native speaker. However, supporting the hypothesis, participants instructed to take the perspective of the non-native speaker rated her more highly than did participants not instructed to take her perspective.