Perspective taking failures in the valuation of mind and body.

Accurately inferring the values and preferences of others is crucial for successful social interactions. Nevertheless, without direct access to others’ minds, perspective taking errors are common. Across 5 studies, we demonstrate a systematic perspective taking failure: People believe they value their minds more than others do and often believe they value their bodies less than others do. The bias manifests across a variety of domains and measures, from judgments about the severity of injuries to preferences for new abilities to assessments of how much one is defined by their mind and body. This perspective taking failure was diminished–but still present–when participants thought of a close other. Finally, we assess and find evidence for the notion that this perspective taking failure is a function of the fact that others’ minds are less salient than others’ bodies. It appears to be the case that people believe the most salient cue from a target is also the best indicator of their values and preferences. This bias has implications for the ways in which we create social policy, judge others’ actions, make choices on behalf of others, and allocate resources to the physically and mentally ill. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)