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On reducing an empathy gap: The impact of self-construal and order of judgment


Karl-Andrew Woltin, Université catholique de Louvain – IPSY, Place du Cardinal Mercier, 10, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. (e-mail:


Empathy gaps, in which individuals exaggerate self–other similarities or differences, generate errors in social judgments. We investigated whether changing individuals’ self-construal may reduce one specific empathy gap: the illusion of courage. Participants primed with independent or interdependent self-construal made judgments about their own and other people's willingness to dance in public. Participants in the interdependence condition showed a reduction of the empathy gap, but only when judging the other first. This finding highlights that simple contextual manipulations have the potential to reduce egocentric biases in social judgments.