The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief)


Living reference work entry


Perspective-taking is a routine and seemingly intuitive part of our everyday social life, yet at the same time, it is a difficult phenomenon to describe, conceptualize, and enhance. This entry considers (1) ways of conceptualizing the primary elements of perspective-taking; (2) reframing perspective-taking as an interactional achievement rather than a purely cognitive skill of the individual; and (3) the relationship between perspective-taking and our ability to imagine possible futures.


Perspective-taking Dialogism Theory of mind Double empathy Subject Other Object Mediator Context Time 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adam, B. (2013). Time and social theory. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Apperly, I. A. (2012). What is “theory of mind”? Concepts, cognitive processes and individual differences. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(5), 825–839. Scholar
  3. Bakhtin, M. M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  4. Boucher, J. (2012). Putting theory of mind in its place: Psychological explanations of the socio-emotional-communicative impairments in autistic spectrum disorder. Autism, 3, 219–233. Scholar
  5. Coleridge, S. T. (2014). Biographia literaria by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. (A. Roberts, Ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Corti, K., & Gillespie, A. (2016). Co-constructing intersubjectivity with artificial conversational agents: People are more likely to initiate repairs of misunderstandings with agents represented as human. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 431–442. Scholar
  7. Danziger, K. (1980). The history of introspection reconsidered. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 16(3), 241–262.<241::AID-JHBS2300160306>3.0.CO;2-O.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Epley, N., Keysar, B., Van Boven, L., & Gilovich, T. (2004). Perspective taking as egocentric anchoring and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(3), 327–339. Scholar
  9. Farr, R., & Rommetveit, R. (1995). The communicative act: An epilogue to mutualities in dialogue. In I. Markova, C. F. Graumann, & K. Foppa (Eds.), Mutualities in dialogue (pp. 264–274). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gallese, V., & Goldman, A. (1998). Mirror neurons and the simulation theory of mind-reading. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2(12), 493–501. Scholar
  11. Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gillespie, A. (2005). G.H. Mead: Theorist of the social act. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 35.
  13. Gillespie, A. (2007). Time, self and the other: The striving tourist. In L. Simao & J. Valsiner (Eds.), Otherness in question: Development of the self (pp. 163–186). Retrieved from
  14. Gillespie, A., & Zittoun, T. (2010). Using resources: Conceptualizing the mediation and reflective use of tools and signs. Culture & Psychology, 16(1), 37–62. Scholar
  15. Gillespie, A., Corti, K., Evans, S., & Heasman, B. (2018). Imagining the self through cultural technologies. In T. Zittoun & V. Glaveanu (Eds.), Handbook in imagination and culture (pp. 301–318). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Goffman, E. (1958). The presentation of self in everyday life. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Grice, P. (1989). Studies in the way of words (Vol. 65).
  18. Habermas, J. (1984). The theory of communicative action (Vol. 1, No. 1).
  19. Hacking, I. (1996). The looping effects of human kinds. In Causal cognition: A multidisciplinary debate (pp. 351–383).
  20. Happé, F. (1994). An advanced test of theory of mind: Understanding of story characters’ thoughts and feelings by able autistic, mentally handicapped, and normal children and adults. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24(2), 129–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Heasman, B. (2018). Enabling autistic sociality: Unrealised potentials in two-sided social interaction (Ph.D. thesis). London School of Economics and Political Science, London.Google Scholar
  22. Heasman, B., & Gillespie, A. (2018a). Neurodivergent intersubjectivity: Distinctive features of how autistic people create shared understanding. Autism. 136236131878517.
  23. Heasman, B., & Gillespie, A. (2018b). Perspective-taking is two-sided: Misunderstandings between people with Asperger’s syndrome and their family members. Autism, 22(6), 740–750. Scholar
  24. Heider, F., & Simmel, M. (1944). An experimental study of apparent behaviour. The American Journal of Psychology, 57(2), 243–259. Scholar
  25. Ickes, W. (1993). Empathic accuracy. Journal of Personality, 61(4), 587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. James, W. (1878/1992). Remarks on Spencer’s definition of mind as correspondence: Writings, 1878–1899. New York: Library of America. (Original work published 1878).Google Scholar
  27. Laing, R. D., Phillipson, H., & Lee, A. (1966). Interpersonal perception: A theory and a method of research. London: Tavistock Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Leudar, I. (2004). Theory of mind: A critical assessment. Theory & Psychology, 14(5), 571–578. Scholar
  29. Linell, P., Gustavsson, L., & Juvonen, P. (1988). Interactional dominance in dyadic communication: A presentation of initiative-response analysis. Linguistics, 26(3), 415–442. Scholar
  30. Malle, B. F. (2003). Folk theory of mind: Conceptual foundations of social cognition. In The new unconscious (pp. 1–28). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. McGeer, V. (2001). Psycho-practice, psycho-theory and the contrastive case of autism: How practices of mind become second-nature. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8(5–7), 109–132.Google Scholar
  32. Mead, G. H. (1922). A behavioristic account of the significant symbol. Journal of Philosophy, 19(6), 157–163. Scholar
  33. Mead, G. H. (1925). The genesis of self and social control. International Journal of Ethics, 35(3), 251–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mead, G. H. (1932). The philosophy of the present. London: Open Court Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  35. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self, and society from the standpoint of a social behaviorist (C. W. Morris, Ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  36. Milton, D. (2012). On the ontological status of autism: The ‘double empathy problem’. Disability & Society, 27(6), 883–887. Scholar
  37. Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  38. Rommetveit, R. (1974). On message structure: A framework for the study of language and communication. Oxford: Wiley.Google Scholar
  39. Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language, 50(4), 696–735. Scholar
  40. Schegloff, E. (1992). Repair after next turn: The last structurally provided defense of intersubjectivity in conversation. American Journal of Sociology, 97(5), 1295–1345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shweder, R. A., Haidt, J., Horton, R., & Joseph, C. (2008). The cultural psychology of the emotions: Ancient and renewed. In Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 409–427). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  42. Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T., & Moll, H. (2005). Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(05), 675–735. Scholar
  43. Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language (Rev. ed./; A. Kozulin, Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. Wimmer, H., & Perner, J. (1983). Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children’s understanding of deception. Cognition, 13, 103–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2015). Imagination in human and cultural development. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zittoun, T., Gillespie, A., Cornish, F., & Psaltis, C. (2007). The metaphor of the triangle in theories of human development. Human Development, 50(4), 208–229. Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE)UCLLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychological and Behavioural ScienceLSELondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alice Chirico
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of the Sacred Heart in MilanMilanItaly