How to seem telepathic: Enabling mind reading by matching construal

Tal Eyal, Nicholas Epley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

People can have difficulty intuiting what others think about them at least partly because people evaluate themselves in more fine-grained detail than observers do. This mismatch in the level of detail at which people construe themselves versus others diminishes accuracy in social judgment. Being a more accurate mind reader requires thinking of oneself at a higher level of construal that matches the observer's construal (Experiments 1 and 2), and this strategy is more effective in this context than perspective taking (Experiments 3a and 3b). Accurately intuiting how others evaluate themselves requires the opposite strategy-thinking about others in a lower level of construal that matches the way people evaluate themselves (Experiment 4). Accurately reading other minds to know how one is evaluated by others-or how others evaluate themselves-requires focusing one's evaluative lens at the right level of detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-705
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2010

Keywords

  • Construal level
  • Mind reading
  • Perspective taking
  • Social perception

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