||Previous research has demonstrated that targets who are directly affected by the outcomes of a situation focus on more detail in a situation than observers who see or overhear a situation but are not directly affected by the outcomes. However, behavioral responses of targets and observers suggest that their perceptions vary in other important ways. This research proposes and finds that individuals' perceptions of the valence, that is the positivity or negativity, of a situation is affected by their role as a target or an observer. Specifically, observers have more negative perceptions than targets do. Such perceptions affect targets' and observers' cooperative behavior with initiators of a situation. To achieve cooperative behavior among observers, positive perceptions can be fostered through observers taking the perspective of the target, as targets often have more positive perceptions of the situation than do observers. Across five studies using different contexts, including bargaining games, organizational interactions, and feedback in a ballet course, some evidence is found to support the propositions. A discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the empirical findings, as well as suggestions for future work, concludes the research.