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Hunter Gehlbach

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Video: Social perspective taking: A multidimensional approach
HGSE Assistant Professor Hunter Gehlbach

GELBACH: So how was your weekend?

STUDENT: It was really good. I went to visit my grandmother and my mom, actually surprised them.

GELBACH: Surprised them?

STUDENT: I surprised them by visiting unexpectedly.

GELBACH: ...(inaudible)

STUDENT: I went to my grandmother's house for mother's day.

GELBACH: Where is that?

STUDENT: It's in Long Island.

GELBACH: Okay.

STUDENT: So, I drove there this weekend. But when I got there, she wasn't expecting me. So she was in the middle of pulling out all of her old photo albums from the basement. And they were all over the living room. So I had a really good time going through all of her stuff, and, like, trying to figure out who people were we found. Her mother's [simultaneous conversation]--

GELBACH: So this is probably lots of pictures of you when you were a kid and--

STUDENT: Oh, way earlier than that. We found her mother's report cards from 1907. And, like, all of her grades and her father had signed them and everything. But I found-- The best thing that I found was a stack of letters from my grandfather to my grandmother while he was in the war from 1941 to 1945.

GELBACH: That's great.

STUDENT: Yeah. So I started reading through all of them and-- And I couldn't believe it 'cause there was this person who kept coming up that my grandfather was talking about that he was being trained with in the Air Force. His name was Billy. And finally I asked my grandmother, who was Billy? And she said, "It was the man I was married to." And--

GELBACH: Really?

STUDENT: I said, "Wasn't that grandpa?" And she said-- She said, "No, I was married before I was married to your grandfather"--

GELBACH: And you didn't know any of this?

STUDENT: And I never knew this.

GELBACH: Really. Huh.

STUDENT: And the-- And it-- Like, the funniest part was that, like, my mom didn't even really know. She knew that that person had been a friend that they grew up with, 'cause they both talked about him. They were both, you know, grew up all in the same area. And so they-- they talked about him, they [simultaneous conversation] never mentioned it.

GELBACH: How long were they married for?

STUDENT: They got married in November, and then he went to training for the Air Force. And he went on his first mission in July of the next year and he was missing by October after that. So he was missing and then presumed dead the next year. And he-- And that was it. So [simultaneous conversation] so then pretty much right after, you know, he went away-- And then the whole rest of the time, all along, my grandfather wrote her letters and stuff like that. And--

GELBACH: Because he had been good friends with this guy.

STUDENT: Right, yeah.

GELBACH: And he, too, assumed that the guy was missing.

STUDENT: Right. And they were both, you know, kind-- they would go back and forth and-- 'Cause, you know, for a whole year, they weren't sure if he had been captured or if-- you know, what happened to him. So, there was-- I found out all of this information and--

GELBACH: So when did the guy reemerge?

STUDENT: He didn't. He-- Like, they presumed that he died. He never was found. So he just went on a mission and he didn't come back and they don't assume that you're dead until, I guess a year after or something, so.

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