Perspective-taking(視点転換/他社視点取得)とは、他者中心視点から自己中心視点、自己中心視点から他者中心視点に視点を切り替えることである。この視点転換は共感に必要なことだが、それが陰謀論を信じやくするとJan-Willem van Prooijen ( 2014)は論じる。
Perspective taking and conspiracy beliefs


In everyday social interaction people are often required to take the perspective of others when ascribing mental states to them, such as motivations, desires, emotions, and cognitions (e.g., Batson, 1991; Davis et al., 2004). Such perspective taking elicits empathy, a phenomenological response to the experiences of others that includes affective and cognitive components. Affectively, taking the perspective of others who experience some form of misfortune has been found to evoke an emotional experience that resembles the emotional experience of the victim (Batson, Eklund, Chermok, Hoyt, & Ortiz, 2007). Cognitively, taking the perspective of others increases the extent to which people perceive the self as connected to these others. Indeed, research reveals that perspective taking strengthens associative links between the self and an outgroup (Todd & Burgmer, 2013). Taking the perspective of outgroup members may hence tighten the affective and perceptual connection that a person experiences with the outgroup, and possibly even induce overarching mental categorizations into a common identity (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000).


One might therefore expect that when people adopt the perspective of a group of citizens whose well-being is substantially threatened by impactful societal events, they have an increased desire to understand how these societal events originated. Specifically, we propose that the empathic experience resulting from perspective taking induces a sense of vicarious distress when perceiving how others are victimized. After all, perspective taking, as well as feelings of closeness or sympathy, induce perceivers to have similar experiences as victims and connects the self with the group (e.g., Batson et al., 2007; Loewenstein & Small, 2007). Once the self becomes aligned with the group that is under threat, people start to worry about the threat, and become personally motivated to make sense of the event (cf. Van den Bos, 2009). Indeed, Park (2010) notes that events that are considered stressful to the self can “create the distress that drives meaning-making efforts” (p. 259). Such sense-making motivation gives rise to belief in conspiracy theories, due to an increased vigilance about potentially suspect features of the harmful event, and an increased desire to develop coherent and causal explanations of how and why an event emerged (Hofstadter, 1966; Shermer, 2011). These processes are less likely among people who do not take the perspective of a group that was harmed by an impactful and consequential event. Without perspective taking, what happens to others is of little relevance to the self, and therefore less likely initiates the sense-making processes that have the potential to increase conspiracy beliefs.


Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Batson, C. D., Eklund, J. H., Chermok, V. L., Hoyt, J. L., & Ortiz, B. G. (2007). An additional antecedent of empathic concern: Valuing the welfare of the person in need. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 65–74
Davis, M. H., Soderlund, T., Cole, J., Gadol, E., Kute, M., Myers, M., et al. (2004). Cognitions associated with attempts to empathize: How do we imagine the perspective of another? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1625–1635.
Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2000). Reducing intergroup bias: The common ingroup identity model. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
Park, C. L. (2010). Making sense of the meaning literature: An integrative review of meaning making and its effects on adjustment to stressful life events. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 257–301.
Shermer, M. (2011). The believing brain: From ghosts and gods to politics and conspiracies—How we construct beliefs and reinforce them as truths. New York, NY: Henry Holt.
Todd, A.R., & Burgmer, P. (2013). Perspective taking and automatic intergroup evaluation change: Testing an associative self-anchoring account. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 786–802.
Van den Bos, K. (2009). Making sense of life: The existential self trying to deal with personal uncertainty. Psychological Inquiry, 20, 197–217.

[ Jan-Willem van Prooijen: "When consequence size predicts belief in conspiracy theories:The moderating role of perspective taking", Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55 (2014) 63–73 ]
These implications of psychologically connecting the self to victimized or threatened groups are consistent with related insights into the processes underlying conspiracy beliefs. It has been noted that conspiracy beliefs can be conceptualized as a form of intergroup threat, where a powerful outgroup (e.g., the political elite; CEOs) is perceived as threatening and deceptive towards a valued ingroup (e.g., fellow citizens) (Van Prooijen & Van Lange, 2014; see also Kramer & Messick, 1998). Empirical studies indeed underscore the intergroup dimension of conspiracy beliefs, which are more prevalent among marginalized groups in society (e.g., Crocker, Luhtanen, Broadnax, & Blaine, 1999) and are driven by group ideology (Swami, 2012). Thus, being part of a threatened group increases conspiracy beliefs, lending credibility to the idea that taking the perspective of a threatened group may also increase conspiracy beliefs.


Furthermore, our line of reasoning is reminiscent of theories that focus on the processes through which people make sense of the fate of victimized others. Lerner and Miller (1978; p. 1031) noted that the need to make sense of a group of victims' fate increases to the extent that people perceive the self as more strongly connected to these victims. Furthermore, research findings are consistent with the idea that people experience more distress about victims when they experience various forms of self-other overlap, such as a common group membership (Correia, Vala, & Aguiar, 2007), or a mindset that cognitively merges the self with others (i.e., social self-activation; Van Prooijen & Van den Bos, 2009). Integrating these arguments with the proposition that conspiracy beliefs are functional to cope with events that perceivers consider distressing, it is hence likely that taking the perspective of a group that was faced with a highly impactful and harmful event has the potential to increase conspiracy beliefs.

さらに、これらの我々の推論は、「被害を受けた他者の運命を理解するプロセス」にフォーカスした理論を思い起こさせる。Lerner and Millerは「被害を受けた集団の運命を理解する必要性が、これらの被害者と強く結びつけられているという感覚を高める」と述べている。これは「共通した集団の所属や、自他の認知的融合などによる、自他の多様な重なりを経験すると、被害者についてより多くの苦痛を経験する」という考えと合致する。これらの論を、「陰謀論の信念は、認識者が苦痛と考える事象に対処するために機能的である」という命題と統合すると、「影響が大きく有害な事象に直面している集団」に対して視点転換を行うことは、陰謀論の信念を強める可能性があると考えらえる。

In sum, we propose that consequence–cause matching in conspiracy beliefs is moderated by perspective taking. More specifically, we predicted that the consequence size of a societal event shapes conspiracy beliefs particularly among people who take the perspective of the group that is influenced by the event.


Correia, I., Vala, J., & Aguiar, P. (2007). Victim's innocence, social categorization, and the threat to the belief in a just world. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 31–38.
Crocker, J., Luhtanen, R., Broadnax, S., & Blaine, B. E. (1999). Belief in U.S. government conspiracies against blacks among black and white college students: Powerlessness or system blame? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 941–953.
Kramer, R. M., & Messick, D.M. (1998). Getting by with a little help from our enemies: Collective paranoia and its role in intergroup relations. In C. Sedikides, J. Schopler, & C. A. Insko (Eds.), Intergroup cognition and intergroup behaviour (pp. 233–255). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Lerner, M. J., & Miller, D. T. (1978). Just world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 1030–1051.
Swami, V. (2012). Social psychological origins of conspiracy theories: The case of the Jewish conspiracy theory in Malaysia. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 1–9.
Van Prooijen, J. -W., & Van den Bos, K. (2009). We blame innocent victims more than I do: Self-construal level moderates responses to just world threats. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1528–1539.
Van Prooijen, J. -W., & Van Lange, P. A. M. (2014). The social dimension of belief in conspiracy theories. In J. -W. van Prooijen, & P. A. M. van Lange (Eds.), Power, politics, and paranoia: Why people are suspicious of their leaders (pp. 237–253). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

[ Jan-Willem van Prooijen: "When consequence size predicts belief in conspiracy theories:The moderating role of perspective taking", Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 55 (2014) 63–73 ]