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What are the processes that underlie people’s ability take other people’s perspective?

   School of Psychology

  , Prof Ben Tatler  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Humans are incredibly adept at understanding other people. They effortlessly keep track of what other people have done, what they know and what they feel. They rely on these skills every day, when predicting what others will do in the future, how to best explain something to them, and when having to lie to them about something. This project will investigate one central aspect of this multifaceted capacity to put oneself into another’s shoes – people’s ability to take another’s visual perspective, to represent how they see the world and the objects within it.

Within this broader topic, the PhD researcher could focus on different sub-questions. They could test, for example, (a) whether people learn about others’ visual input by mentally rotating themselves into their position in space, (b) whether the representation of another’s viewpoint is truly perceptual, or reflects more abstract knowledge about the other person, (c) what the time course of perspective taking is, and (d) whether people take the perspective of some individuals more easily than of others (e.g., friends vs. non-friends, artificial agents like humanoid robots).

Full training on relevant skills and techniques will be provided. The PhD researcher will have access to a large volunteer participant panel and well-equipped labs for behavioural, EEG, and eye-tracking studies.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor

• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding

• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)

• Detailed CV

• Details of 2 academic referees

Informal inquiries can be made to Prof Patric Bach () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the

Funding Notes

This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding.


Recent lab papers on the topic:
• Ward, E., Ganis, G., Bach, P. (2019). Spontaneous Vicarious Perception of the Content of Another’s Visual Perspective. Current Biology.
• Ward, E., Ganis, G., McDonough, K., & Bach, P. (2020). Perspective taking as virtual navigation? Perceptual simulation of what others see reflects their location in space but not their gaze. Cognition.
• Ward, E., Bach, P., McDonough, K., & Ganis, G. (2022). Is Implicit Level-2 Visual perspective taking embodied? Perceptual simulation of others’ perspectives is not impaired by motor restriction. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
• Check out the lab project website for a more general overview about our experimental approach. Here’s a bit of press coverage our work has received.
Other relevant papers:
• Kampis, D., & Southgate, V. (2020). Altercentric cognition: how others influence our cognitive processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
• Samuel, S., Hagspiel, K., Eacott, M. J., & Cole, G. G. (2021). Visual perspective-taking and image-like representations: We don't see it. Cognition.

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