Perceiving Others’ Feelings: The Importance of Personality and Social Structure
Sherman, Gary D.
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CitationSherman, Gary D., Jennifer S. Lerner, Jonathan Renshon, Christine Ma-Kellams, and Samantha Joel. 2015. “Perceiving Others’ Feelings: The Importance of Personality and Social Structure” Social Psychological and Personality Science 6 (5) (January 16): 559–569. doi:10.1177/1948550614567358.
AbstractRecent research has explored the relationship between social hierarchy and empathic accuracy— the ability to accurately infer others’ mental states. In the current research, we tested the hypothesis that, regardless of one’s personal level of status and power, simply believing that social inequality is natural and morally acceptable (e.g., endorsement of social dominance orientation, or SDO), would be negatively associated with empathic accuracy. In a sample of managers, a group for whom empathic accuracy is a valuable skill, empathic accuracy was lower for those who possessed structural power and also for those who endorsed social dominance, regardless of their structural power. Moreover, men were less empathically accurate than women, a relationship statistically mediated by men’s higher SDO and greater structural power. These findings suggest that for empathic abilities, it matters just as much what you think about social hierarchies as it does where you stand within them.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34721613
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