Citation:
Gawronski, B. (2001). Implicational schemata and the correspondence bias: On the diagnostic value of situationally constrained behavior. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Abstract:
Drawing on G. D. Reeder's (1993) schematic model of dispositional inference, it is hypothesized that the correspondence bias can be due to perceivers' schematic assumptions about trait-behavior relations (i.e., implicational schemata) in situational adjustment. Applied to attitude attribution, the diagnostic value of a situationally constrained essay is assumed to be judged by an implicit theory of ability, i.e., only those who hold a corresponding attitude are able to write a persuasive essay towards a given position. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that free choice essays lead to the attribution of a corresponding attitude regardless of the persuasiveness of the essay, whereas situationally constrained essays lead to less correspondent inferences when essays are unpersuasive than when they are persuasive. Experiment 3 offers evidence that the persuasiveness of an essay affects situational adjustment rather than behavioral categorization. Experiment 4 further demonstrates that implicational schemata guide situational adjustment rather than situational disambiguation. Consequences for understanding the processes that lead to the correspondence bias are discussed.