Summary and Info
Upon observing another’s socially constrained behavior, people often ascribe to the person an attitude that corresponds to the behavior. This effect (called the correspondence bias, or CB) can result either because the socially constrained behavior is still diagnostic of an underlying attitude of the actor or because the perceiver has a psychological bias that favors dispositional attributions. As predicted, when a socially constrained behavior was diagnostic of the actor’s attitude, both Americans and Japanese showed an equally strong CB. In contrast, when the behavior was made minimally diagnostic, Americans continued to show a strong CB, but Japanese ceased to show any CB (Study 1). Furthermore, a mediational analysis revealed that the cross-cultural difference is due in part to the nature of explicit inferences generated on line during attitudinal judgment (Study 2). Implications for the cultural grounding of social perception are discussed.2
More About the Author
Kitayama (北山村, Kitayama-mura) is an exclave village that belongs to Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, but is located on the border between Mie and Nara Prefectures.
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