Abstract Argument (v. 4)

This series presents an abstract from a journal article as a proposition for debate. Knowledge of the article itself is not assumed and is not required to participate in the discussion. Any points within the following abstract are open for consideration:

The present research demonstrates that the visual perspective—own first-person versus observer’s third-person—people use to picture themselves engaging in a potential future action affects their self-perceptions and subsequent behavior. On the eve of the 2004 U.S. presidential election, registered voters in Ohio were instructed to use either the first-person or the third-person perspective to picture themselves voting in the election. Picturing voting from the third-person perspective caused subjects to adopt a stronger pro-voting mind-set correspondent with the imagined behavior. Further, this effect on self-perception carried over to behavior, causing subjects who were instructed to picture voting from the third-person perspective to be significantly more likely to vote in the election. These findings extend previous research in autobiographical memory and social judgment linking the observer’s perspective with dispositional attributions, and demonstrate the causal role of imagery in determining future behavior.

From: Picture Yourself at the Polls: Visual Perspective in Mental Imagery Affects Self-Perception and Behavior, Lisa K. Libby, Eric M. Shaeffer, Richard P. Eibach, Jonathan A. Slemmer, Psychological Science 18 (3), 199–203.

Published by

Joe Carter

Joe Carter founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005. He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tribune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicaton.

  • HelloWorld

    Peace people
    We love you

  • http://unitelater.com Glenn

    I can’t picture myself contributing substantively to this debate. However, I can see how someone else might…

  • http://thebumblinggenius.blogspot.com/ danny wright

    Yea I can see that. It seems kind of like 2 Cor 13:5:
    Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.
    To examine yourself is to attempt a third person perspective, right?…; or have I totally missed your point?

  • John Rokstone

    So what does this mean about people who are apart of organizations or other similar type bureaucracies ?
    Scientology, for instance, or a big-business corporation are perfect examples of how internal politics can influence an outcome within the “company” or “governing system.” Especially, when dealing with the appointing of people to a higher power position.
    This raises concern on topics such as affirmative action. Which brings into play various factors involving:
    “Are the people most qualified being cast aside because of social differences such as RACE?”
    “Will my child be rejected from a university over a less qualified person because they were white?”
    And how does all this relate?
    Basically the mindset generated from higher influences create a stereotype.
    Whether the stereotype is the ideal “Starbucks drinking business executive” or a “balanced ratio of races” it all means that we subscribe to manipulated logic that sometimes misses an ethical motive. Well, maybe…