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Perspective Taking in Communication

  • By: Jeremy I. M. Carpendale & Sherrie Atwood
  • In: Encyclopedia of Language Development
  • Edited by: Patricia J. Brooks & Vera Kempe
  • Subject:Language Development, Language & Communication

Understanding others' perspectives is an essential skill on which human social interaction and language is based, and it is through experience in interaction that increasingly complex forms of perspective taking develop. Human forms of intentional communication involve learning how others tend to respond to our actions and words, as George Herbert Mead argued. A form of perspective taking in this sense of being aware of others' attitudes toward one's actions is involved in communicating and learning a language. Through experience in early forms of communication, infants learn to take others' perspectives, and such perspective taking makes more complex forms of communication possible. Once a language is learned, children can engage in further forms of perspective taking in more complicated social situations, such as understanding how ...

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