Cultural variation in correspondence bias: The critical role of attitude diagnosticity of socially constrained behavior

  • Miyamoto Y
  • Kitayama S
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Abstract

Upon observing another's socially constrained behavior, people often ascribe to the person an attitude that corresponds to the behavior (called the correspondence bias [CB]). The authors found that when a socially constrained behavior is still diagnostic of the actor's attitude, both Americans and Japanese show an equally strong CB. A major cultural difference occurred when the behavior was minimally diagnostic. Demonstrating their persistent bias toward dispositional attribution, Americans showed a strong CB. But Japanese did not show any CB (Study 1). Furthermore, a mediational analysis revealed that this cross-cultural difference was due in part to the nature of explicit inferences generated online during attitudinal judgment (Study 2). Implications for the cultural grounding of social perception are discussed.

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Authors

  • Yuri Miyamoto

  • Shinobu Kitayama

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