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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.



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.


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.


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.


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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