How accurately can other people infer your thoughts -- and does culture matter?

Valanides, Constantinos and Sheppard, Elizabeth and Mitchell, Peter (2017) How accurately can other people infer your thoughts -- and does culture matter? PLoS ONE, 12 (11). e0187586/1-e0187586/14. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

This research investigated how accurately people infer what others are thinking after observing a brief sample of their behaviour and whether culture/similarity is a relevant factor. Target participants (14 British and 14 Mediterraneans) were cued to think about either positive or negative events they had experienced. Subsequently, perceiver participants (16 British and 16 Mediterraneans) watched videos of the targets thinking about these things. Perceivers (both groups) were significantly accurate in judging when targets had been cued to think of something positive versus something negative, indicating notable inferential ability. Additionally, Mediterranean perceivers were better than British perceivers in making such inferences, irrespective of nationality of the targets, something that was statistically accounted for by corresponding group differences in levels of independently measured collectivism. The results point to the need for further research to investigate the possibility that being reared in a collectivist culture fosters ability in interpreting others’ behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Interpersonal inferences, retrodiction, culture, collectivism, individualism
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187586
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2017 12:03
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 09:12
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/47749

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