Sociology Index


Correspondence principle in sociology is the concept that aspects of a society's culture and social structure have a complementary fit or integration between them. Correspondence principle or correspondence thesis is a sociological theory that claims a close relationship between social standing and the educational system. Correspondence principle has been extensively used in the sociology of education to analyze and describe the way that schools and other institutions socialize and educate individuals to take places in a structure of social inequality. Correspondence principle is also aligned with the conflict theory approach to sociology which states that there is a social class division in capitalist society, between capitalists, owning the means of production, and workers, who sell their labor power to the capitalists.

Correspondence principle is the theory that the relationship between a person’s social standing and the type of education that is received at school. Correspondence principle also codifies the idea that a new theory should reproduce under some conditions the results of older well-established theories in those domains where the old theories work. 

According to correspondence principle, the social relations of the school can be directly related to those in the work-place. Apart from the formal curriculum that is offered by the school, correspondence principle argues that the structure of the school and also the hidden curriculum is important to their future socialization.

Correspondence principle also advances a neo-Marxist argument about the specific nature of the institutional linkages in the family, school, and work "chain". Sociologists who support correspondence principle argue that education is just a means of maintaining social class boundaries.

In physics, the correspondence principle states that for large orbits and for large energies, quantum calculations must agree with classical calculations.

Measure what you are trying to predict: Applying the correspondence principle to the Implicit Association Test
Louis H. Irving, Colin Tucker Smith
Abstract: The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is nearly synonymous with the implicit attitude construct. At the same time, correlations between the IAT and criterion measures are often remarkably low. Developed within research using explicit measures of attitudes, the correspondence principle posits that measures should better predict criteria when there is a match in terms of the level of generality or specificity at which both are conceptualized (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977).

Research using explicit measures of attitudes consistently supports the correspondence principle, but conceptual correspondence is rarely considered by researchers using implicit measures to predict behavior and other relevant criterion measures. In five experiments (total N = 4650), we provide the first direct evidence demonstrating the relevance of the correspondence principle to the predictive validity of the IAT and Single-Target IAT. That said, it is not the case that the IAT always predicts criteria better when correspondence is high. Inconsistency across the pattern of results suggests there is much more that remains to be understood about the relevance of the correspondence principle to the implicit-criterion relationship. Taken together, however, our findings suggest that conceptual correspondence often increases (and never decreases) the magnitude of implicit-criterion and implicit-explicit relationships. We provide a framework for future research necessary to establish when correspondence is more likely to increase the predictive validity of measures such as the IAT.