illusory correlation


Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

illusory correlation

An error in diagnostic thinking in which there is a tendency to assume that two events occurring in the same place or time must be related to each other or be caused by the same phenomenon.
References in periodicals archive ?
An illusory correlation is formed when a person perceives an association between two variables (e.
It follows that if (for example) a person with a mental illness was seen behaving in a violent way, this might qualify as a doubly distinctive event and thus contribute to an illusory correlation.
they are experiencing a heavy cognitive load), it is unlikely that they will form an illusory correlation because they will not be alert enough to recognize and encode distinctions between different kinds of people and behaviors.
In other words, examination of the relationship between AC and the illusory correlation was expected to reveal an inverted-U pattern.
The current research utilized the traditional illusory correlation experimental paradigm introduced by Hamilton and Gifford (1976).
Distinctiveness-based illusory correlations and stereotyping: A meta-analytic integration.
Hamilton & Gifford (1976; Study 1) developed the now familiar paradigm to demonstrate the illusory correlation effect in social perception.
However, a number of studies have identified factors that can weaken the distinctiveness-based illusory correlation effect (Schaller & Maass, 1989; Spears, van der Pligt & Eiser, 1985), or have shown that illusory correlation effects can occur without statistical infrequency of a particular category (Berndsen, Spears & van der Pligt, 1996a; Spears, van der Pligt & Eiser, 1986).
According to Smith (1991) and Fiedler (1991; see also Fiedler, Russer & Gramm, 1993), the illusory correlation phenomenon is a result of memory biases.
In contrast to these explanations based on biased information processing, McGarty, Haslam, Turner & Oakes (1993) proposed that illusory correlation resulted from attempts to differentiate meaningfully between stimulus groups.
In order to accentuate differences between group A and B in the illusory correlation task, participants need to perceive some contrast or difference between the two groups (i.
Illusory correlation as an obstacle to the use of valid psychodiagnostic signs.