The moderation of distinctiveness-based illusory correlation: The impact of circadian variations and personal need for structure

Randall A. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

To further the understanding of illusory correlations, relationships between circadian variations (morningness-eveningness), personal need for structure, and the development of illusory correlations were examined. Consistent with predictions, U.S. university students who participated at nonoptimal times (morning types at night; evening types during the day) formed significant illusory correlations based on a percentage estimate measure; participants during optimal periods did not. Significant illusory correlations were found also among participants with a high need for personal structure but not among participants with a lower need for such structure. Comparisons based on trait ratings and a cued recall (assignment) task were not significant. Overall, the findings are consistent with the idea that illusory correlations are by-products of a cognitively economical heuristic process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-526
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume137
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997

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