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THE OBSERVING ACTOR: DIVERGENT PERCEPTIONS OF THE CAUSE OF ONE'S OWN BEHAVIOR

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Jones and Nisbett (1971) have found that subjects performing an act (actors) believe their act to have been caused by factors other than the factors believed to be causal by subjects observing the performance of the act (observers). These findings indicate that Bern's (1967) proposal that observers and actors share the same causal attributions is false. A cognitive structure mediating the actor's causal attributions is proposed and successfully applied to current problems in intrinsic motivation, persuasion, and desensitization. Implications of this structure for social control and for freedom are suggested.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1974-01-01

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