Correspondence bias (also called fundamental attribution error), or putting significant emphasis on others internal characteristics to explain behavior, is commonly seen and studied. This has been researched through a study platform called the perceiver-induced constraint paradigm.
In this paradigm, an individual, called the inducer, is instructed by the experimenter to ask another individual, the target, to read an opinionated essay that supports one of two possible opinions. Afterwards, the inducer rates the true attitude of the target individual. In one specific experiment, researchers were attempting to compare correspondence bias in American participants (undergraduates at a university in the US) with Japanese participants (undergraduates at a university in Japan). In this study, researchers added a third participant, called the observer, who also rated the targets true attitude during each session for comparison. The results of this study are presented in the table below. The attribution numbers displayed in the table correspond to the degree to which the individual perceived the targets attitude to match the attitude of the essay that was read.
Table 1. Attitude attribution in the inducer and observer conditions for American and Japanese participants. *p < 0.005.
Researchers conducted a follow-up study in which American and Japanese participants rated a target who wrote an essay supporting one of two opposing positions. The target either had a position assigned to them, or they were given the ability to choose their position. Correspondence bias was found when the target was assigned a position, however no bias was observed when the position was freely chosen.
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