Illusory correlation

Illusory correlation

Illusory correlation is the phenomenon of seeing the relationship one expects in a set of data even when no such relationship exists. When people form false associations between membership in a statistical minority group and rare (typically negative) behaviors, this would be a common example of illusory correlation. [cite book | last = Pelham | first = Brett | title = Conducting Research in Psychology | publisher = Wadsworth Publishing | location = Belmont | year = 2006 | isbn = 0534532942 ] Illusory correlation is when people tend to overestimate a link between two variables. However, the correlation is slight or not at all. This happens because the variables capture the attention simply because they are novel or deviant. This is one way stereotypes form and endure. David Hamilton and Terrence Rose (1980) found that stereotypes can lead people to expect certain groups and traits to fit together, and they overestimate the frequency of when these correlations actually occur [web cite|url=|title=Stereotypes] . People overestimate the core association between variables such as stereotyped groups and stereotypic behavior. [cite book | last = Kassin | first = S. | last2 = Fein | first2 = S. | last3 = Markus | first3 = H.R. | title = Social Psychology | publisher = Houghton Mifflin Co. | location = Boston | year = 2008 | isbn = 0618998586 ]

Chapman and Chapman (1971) studied the effect as it relates to psychodiagnostic signs. Their study showed that although projective testing is not helpful in the diagnosis of mental disorders, some psychologists continue to use such tests because of a perceived, illusory, correlation between test results and certain attributes. An example of a projective test is the "Draw a Person" test that asks patients to draw a person on a blank piece of paper. Some psychologists believe in a correlation between drawing a person with big eyes and paranoia. No such correlation exists, and when data that is deliberately uncorrelated is presented to college students they find the same illusory correlations that psychologists believe in. [Citation | last = Chapman | first = L. J. | last2 = Chapman | first2 = J. P. | title = Genesis of popular but erroneous psychodiagnostic observations | journal = Journal of Abnormal Psychology | volume = 72 | pages = 193-204 | year = 1967 ]

This bias can be caused by, among other things, an event that stands out as unique. For example, "The only time I forget my pencil is when we have a test". This is most likely an illusory correlation. It could be caused by only a few other pencil-less tests, which stand out particularly well in memory [cite web|url=|title=Illusory Correlation] .

See also

* Cognitive bias
* Observer bias
* Expectancy effect
* Post hoc ergo propter hoc
* Cum hoc ergo propter hoc
* Radical behaviorism
* Superstition


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Correlation and dependence — This article is about correlation and dependence in statistical data. For other uses, see correlation (disambiguation). In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation …   Wikipedia

  • Корреляция — (Correlation) Корреляция это статистическая взаимосвязь двух или нескольких случайных величин Понятие корреляции, виды корреляции, коэффициент корреляции, корреляционный анализ, корреляция цен, корреляция валютных пар на Форекс Содержание… …   Энциклопедия инвестора

  • Confirmation bias — (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true.[Note 1][1] As a result, people gather evidence and recall …   Wikipedia

  • List of cognitive biases — A cognitive bias is a pattern of poor judgment, often triggered by a particular situation. Identifying poor judgment, or more precisely, a deviation in judgment, requires a standard for comparison, i.e. good judgment . In scientific… …   Wikipedia

  • Draw-A-Person Test — Smiling person (combined head and body) age 4½. The Draw A Person Test (DAP, DAP test, or Goodenough Harris Draw A Person Test) is a psychological projective personality or cognitive test used to evaluate children and adolescents for a variety of …   Wikipedia

  • Automatic writing — is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. Practitioners say that the writer s hand forms the message, with the person being unaware of what will be written. In some cases, it is… …   Wikipedia

  • Cognitive bias — For an article about the conceptual problems of the mind see Cognitive closure (philosophy). Psychology …   Wikipedia

  • The Black Swan (Taleb book) — The Black Swan   …   Wikipedia

  • Oneirology — Oneiric redirects here. For use of the term in film theory, see oneiric (film theory). For the CunninLynguists album, see Oneirology (album). For the operating system, see list of Ubuntu releases#Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot). Oneirology (… …   Wikipedia

  • international relations — a branch of political science dealing with the relations between nations. [1970 75] * * * Study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies and political… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”