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On the Use of Single Sentence Descriptions Of Behavior in Attribution Research

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Previous studies employing attribution questionnaires have neglected important stimulus characteristics of single sentence descriptions of behavior. The present study investigated the effects of the consensus (high vs. low) and sentence structure (active vs. passive) of single sentence descriptions of different behaviors on causal attributions. As expected, high consensus produced less person attribution than did low consensus, and passive items produced more stimulus attribution than did active items. Implications for the epistemological status of previous questionnaire research on attributions and, in particular, previous results bearing on consensus and salience were discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1979

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