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Exploring the natural language-IRAP as a potential measure of adolescents’ perspective-taking (Pages 156-163)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 26, October 2022, Pages 154-163


A. Stapleton, E. Cotter, L. McHugh


Researchers have used the implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP) to explore adults' deictic relational responding, with recent evidence suggesting natural language IRAPs (NL-IRAPs) capture some perspective-taking. The present study sought to extend literature on perspective-taking NL-IRAPs by presenting NL-IRAPs to a sample of adolescents (n = 110) aged 14–17 years (M = 15.64, SD = 0.52). All participants completed a Self-Focused NL-IRAP and were randomly assigned to complete either a Specified Other-Focused NL-IRAP or Unspecified Other-Focused NL-IRAP. No statistically significant differences were observed in IRAP performance when responding from one's own perspective versus a specified other's perspective. A statistically significant interaction effect was observed between perspective (self-other) and trial type when an unspecified other was used. No statistically significant relationships were observed between self-reported perspective-taking tendencies and IRAP performance. Findings are discussed with reference to (i) the importance of tailoring stimuli to the individual and (ii) the challenge of maintaining deictic functions of self-other while evoking perspective-taking, not ‘sense-making’.

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