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Younger children were more likely to falsely base their judgments on the individuating information. In the social scenarios, the use of baserates increased with age when only base-rate information was given. In contrast, when both base-rates and individuating information were given, the use of base-rates to make judgments decreased with age as the use of individuating information increased. Thus, in the social domain, younger children were less able to use either type of information to make judgments than were older children.

Moreover, findings that on-line processing, which directs attention away from infrequent behaviors, and the effects of increasing target salience, either by increasing attention to particular targets or groups or through self-relevance of target characteristics, add further support to the hypothesis that illusory correlation effects result from the increased salience of certain characteristics. When these characteristics are made more or less salient, illusory correlation effects are likewise enhanced or reduced.

When processing occurs on-line, the perceiver compares each new piece of information to the previously encountered pieces of information to form an impression of the target or targets that is continuously updated. The result is an impression that is more strongly influenced by the more frequently encountered information, rather than by the less frequent information. Thus, when judging individual targets, or when the perceiver is asked to form an impression of the groups at the time of presentation of the groupbehavior associations, illusory correlations are not typically formed, and judgments of the targets or groups are fairly accurate.

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