Skip to main content
Article
The Perceived Value of Constrained Behavior: Pressures Toward Biased Inference in the Attitude Attribution Paradigm
Social Psychology Quarterly
  • Arthur G. Miller
  • Daniel Schmidt
  • Cheryl L. Meyer, Wright State University - Main Campus
  • Adrienne Colella
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
6-1-1984
Abstract
Two experiments investigated observer bias in the attitude attribution paradigm. In the first, subjects assessed the usefulness of a constrained essay prior to attributing the writer's attitude. Contrary to the prevailing view that subjects are inattentive to situational forces, a majority indicated that the essay was not useful for making an attribution about the writer. Subsequent attitude attributions, however, revealed a pronounced bias toward correspondent inference. That the same subjects judged the essay to be 'not useful' yet proceeded to make a biased attribution suggests that there are strong pressures in the paradigm itself to use the essay to make the required judgment. A second experiment indicated that considerably more favorable impressions were formed about an attributor who had made a relatively extreme attribution regarding the writer's attitude. Even when the essay had been assigned to the writer, a discounting judgment was viewed in relatively unfavorable terms. The context of this experimental paradigm appears to sanction the informational value executed, the paradigm may prevent a majority of subjects from expressing reservations concerning the value of the constrained essay.
Citation Information
Arthur G. Miller, Daniel Schmidt, Cheryl L. Meyer and Adrienne Colella. "The Perceived Value of Constrained Behavior: Pressures Toward Biased Inference in the Attitude Attribution Paradigm" Social Psychology Quarterly Vol. 47 Iss. 2 (1984) p. 160 - 171 ISSN: 01902725
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cheryl_meyer/57/