Power and Perspectives

A recent study appearing in the December 2006 issue of Psychological Science reports that people with power are often unable to take other people’s perspective. Not good news for our current political climate.

Not good news for our current political climate. A recent study appearing in the December 2006 issue of Psychological Science reports that people with power are often unable to take other people’s perspective.

Study Gives Us A New Perspective On The Powerful

To study the link between power and perspective taking, Galinsky and colleagues used a unique method in which the participants were told to draw the letter E on their forehead. If the subject wrote the E in a self-oriented direction, backwards to others, this indicated a lack of perspective taking. On the other hand, when the E was written legible to others, this indicated that the person had thought about how others might perceive the letter.

How can you use this information? Perhaps a perceived reduction in someone’s power can help someone take yours or another’s perspective. A simple language pattern should do the trick.