The effect of perspective-taking on reasoning about strong and weak belief-relevant arguments

Matthew T. McCrudden, Ashleigh Barnes, Erin M. McTigue, Casey Welch, Eilidh MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study investigated whether perspective-taking reduces belief bias independently of argument strength. Belief bias occurs when individuals evaluate belief-consistent arguments more favourably than belief-inconsistent arguments. Undergraduates (n = 93) read arguments that varied with respect to belief-consistency (i.e., belief-consistent or belief-inconsistent) and strength (i.e., strong or weak) about the topic of climate change. After participants read each argument, those in the perspective-taking condition rated the argument's strength from a perspective of a climate scientist and then from their own perspectives, whereas those in the no perspective-taking condition only rated the arguments from their own perspectives. Perspective-taking eliminated belief bias for weak arguments, but not for strong arguments. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed, and directions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-133
Number of pages19
JournalThinking and Reasoning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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