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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2011 Mar;66(2):169-76. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbq078. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Beliefs about behavior account for age differences in the correspondence bias.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. jts@brandeis.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Older adults tend to exhibit the correspondence bias to a greater extent than young adults. The current study examined whether these age differences are a function of the degree to which an individual subscribes to a lay theory of attitude-behavior consistency.

METHODS:

First, participants responded to questions regarding their beliefs about attitude-behavior consistency. Approximately 2 weeks later, 144 (67 young adults and 77 older adults) participants completed the correspondence bias task.

RESULTS:

As expected, older adults were more biased than young adults. Analyses revealed that the degree to which an individual holds attitude-behavior consistency beliefs in the dishonesty domain accounted for age-related differences in the correspondence bias.

DISCUSSION:

The results of this study suggest that age differences in the correspondence bias task are in part driven by older adults holding stronger attitude-behavior consistency beliefs than young adults.

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