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Bodily perspective taking goes social: the role of personal, interpersonal, and intercultural factors


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Christine Mohr, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques, Institut de Psychologie, Bâtiment Géopolis, Quartier Mouline, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. E-mail:


Mentally placing the self in the physical position of another person might engage social perspective taking because participants have to match their own position with that of another. We investigated the influence of personal (sex), interpersonal (siblings, parental marital status), and cultural (individualistic, collectivistic) factors on individuals' abilities to mentally take the position of front-facing and back-facing figures in an online study (369 participants). Replicating findings from laboratory studies responses were slower for front-facing than back-facing figures. Having siblings, parents' marital status, and cultural background influenced task performance in theoretically predictable ways. The present perspective-taking task is a promising experimental paradigm to assess social perspective taking and one that is free from the response biases inherent in self-report.