Attention to behavioral events during interaction: Two actor-observer gaps and three attempts to close them

Bertram F. Malle, Gale E. Pearce
2001 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
In social interactions, people must pay attention to many behavioral events unfolding in themselves and the other person-events that can be observable or unobservable, intentional or unintentional. Three studies explored how people distribute their attention to these different event types and, as a result, build up representations of self and partner during the interaction. Relying on basic principles of attention , the authors predict 2 actor-observer gaps: Actors pay more attention to
more » ... able events and less to observable events than observers; and actors pay more attention to unintentional events and less to intentional events than observers. Study 1 documents both gaps. Studies 2 and 3 explore factors that might close the gaps, such as relational intimacy and empathy. Implications of these results for the role of attention in attribution and interpersonal behavior are discussed.
doi:10.1037//0022-3514.81.2.278 pmid:11519932 fatcat:y3lsvyjq2ffqbjcz6ztnf3rqcu