MOTIVATIONAL INFLUENCE OF BEHAVIORAL DESIRABILITY ON ACTORS' AND OBSERVERS' ATTRIBUTIONS
Abstract:Jones and Nisbett's (1971) proposition that actors favor environmental attribution and observers personal attribution was investigated. Subjects attributed causality from two perspectives (observer versus role-playing actor) for verbally-described behaviors which varied in desirability (low versus moderate versus high). The results suggested that motivational considerations mediated actor-observer attributional differences. While observers attributed more personal cause than did actors at all levels of desirability, this actor-observer difference was attenuated as behavioral desirability increased. Actor-observer differences were not evidenced on environmental attribution, suggesting that perspective differences represent a differential salience of personal causes for actors and observers.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1976
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