Seminar Series

The cognitive basis of perspective-taking: evidence for "two systems"

I will suggest that everyday perspective-taking makes rather contradictory cognitive demands, requiring us to be at once very flexible and very fast and efficient. I will present evidence suggesting that human adults can indeed be both very flexible, and very fast and efficient in their perspective-taking, but also that they cannot be both at the same time. This suggests a "two systems" account, whereby adults may have two different cogitive routes to perspective-taking. I will consider the implications of these findings for the possible roles that perspective-taking might play in human communication.