Social effects on reference frame selection
The presence of another person in a spatial scene has been shown to induce spontaneous perspective taking. This investigation presents two experiments exploring whether the presence of another person affects reference frame selection when representing object locations in memory. Participants studied objects from one view and later performed judgments of relative direction, which tested retrieval of the remembered layout from several imagined perspectives. Without another person in the scene during learning, participants selected a reference frame aligned with the studied view. The mere presence of the experimenter at a different perspective during learning did not affect reference frame selection. Requiring participants to process object locations from the experimenter’s view during learning led to the selection of a reference frame aligned with the experimenter. However, the same effect also occurred when participants processed object locations from the perspective of a wooden box. In sum, the presence of another person during learning did not affect reference frame selection, and participants adopted a nonegocentric reference frame whether the nonegocentric perspective was occupied by a person or an object.
This article is published as Kelly, J.W., Costabile, K.A. & Cherep, L.A.Social effects on reference frame selection Psychon Bull Rev (2018) 25: 2339. doi: 10.3758/s13423-018-1429-6. Posted with permission.