Today I read a sentence from a recently written paper of Bursztyn,2021

"Misperceptions about others are widespread, asymmetric, much larger when about out-group members, and positively associated with one’s own attitudes"

I am wondering what does the bold part mean in this context? I understand the first part but not the last one of this sentence.

1 Answer 1


"Positively associated" is in the statistical sense of "As one variable increase the other tends to increase. "Positively correlated" would mean the same.

In more detail from later in the paper:

One’s own attitudes and beliefs are strongly, positively associated with (mis)perceptions about others’ attitudes and beliefs on the same issues.

That is if you believe (for example) "Women should not work outside the home" then you will tend to think that other people also think the same. Especially you will think that people from your "group" think the same.

This is all shown and discussed in detail in the paper:

These patterns indicate that respondents overwhelmingly tend to think that other in-group members share their characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors, while those in the out-groups are opposite of themselves.

  • Can I ask what does "one" here stand for ? a person or a group then Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 15:35
  • 1
    yes, the person "A person's misconceptions are positively associated with *that person's" attitudes etc."
    – James K
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 15:55

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