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Perspective Change and Personality State Variability: An Argument for the Role of Self-Awareness and an Outlook on Bidirectionality (Commentary on Wundrack et al., 2018)

1
Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01187 Dresden, Germany
2
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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PDF [245 KB, uploaded 17 April 2019]

Abstract

In a recent article, Wundrack et al. (2018) put forward an elaborate and intriguing hypothesis on enhanced perspective-taking (Theory of Mind) ability as a consequence of higher personality state variability. While there is evidence in favor of this hypothesis, the clinical examples of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, as highlighted by the authors, demonstrate that a high state variability can also be accompanied by a lower perspective-taking ability (as commonly observed in these disorders). We suggest that only those state changes which are initiated on a voluntary basis and are accompanied by self-awareness go along with a higher perspective-taking ability. Introducing self-awareness as a moderating factor might help explain seemingly conflicting findings related to the hypothesis proposed in the target article. Moreover, we argue that the direction of causality proposed in the target article is not the only conceivable one, and perspective-taking ability could also be a cause, not just a consequence, of personality state variability. Finally, we provide suggestions on how these hypotheses could be tested in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: perspective-taking; theory of mind; personality states; intraindividual variability; self-awareness perspective-taking; theory of mind; personality states; intraindividual variability; self-awareness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jauk, E.; Kanske, P. Perspective Change and Personality State Variability: An Argument for the Role of Self-Awareness and an Outlook on Bidirectionality (Commentary on Wundrack et al., 2018). J. Intell. 2019, 7, 10.

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