Illusory correlation: A further exploration of Chapman's paradigm

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Abstract

Even though the phenomenon of illusory correlation first researched by L. Chapman (see record 1967-08174-001) has been demonstrated in a variety of studies, little has been done to show that this bias cannot be reduced or eliminated by training. The present study addresses this issue with 4 groups of 15 undergraduates each. The 1st group replicated a study by L. Chapman and J. Chapman (see record 1969-13004-001) with an equal association of all valid Wheeler signs and invalid signs and statements of the patients' purported problem. Group 2 had valid signs presented 100% of the time and invalid signs presented 50% of the time. Group 3 Ss had special pretraining against illusory correlation, with 50% presentation of valid signs, and Group 4 also had the special pretraining, with 100% presentationof the valid Wheeler signs. It was predicted that Groups 3 and 4 would show the least amount of illusory correlation. This hypothesis was not confirmed. However, the Chapman finding that Ss predominantly associated the concept of anality with preconceived problems of homosexuality was partly replicated. Ss also appeared to create their own illusory correlate. (8 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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