Visual perspective in causal attribution, empathy and attitude change

Onder O., Oner-Ozkan B.

PSYCHOLOGICAL REPORTS, vol.93, no.3, pp.1035-1046, 2003 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 93 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.2466/pr0.93.8.1035-1046
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1035-1046
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of the present study was to test the effect of visual perspective on the actor-observer bias. For this aim, we examined the effects of different visual perspectives on individuals' external and internal attributions. In addition to this, we examined the presence or absence of an attitude change toward the death penalty due to participants' visual perspective. One week before the experiment, we measured the participants' attitudes toward the death penalty. Then, during the experiment, films produced by one of the authors of this study were shown to two separate groups of participants. There were two films, each film constituting one of the two levels of visual perception. The content of each film was the memories of a person who was given the death penalty for the murder of his own brother. Level of visual perception was manipulated by using different camera perspectives, one from the actor's point of view and the other from the observer's point of view. At the end of the experiment, participants' attitudes toward the death penalty were measured again.