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ATTRIBUTION AND DISTRIBUTION: THE WEIGHT OF PERFORMANCE, EFFORT, AND ABILITY IN THE ALLOCATION OF JOINTLY ATTAINED GAINS AND LOSSES

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Abstract:

Two experiments were conducted with 94 male subjects who were run in dyads. Half of the dyads attained a gain and half a loss as a result of their work on a verbal task. In the first experiment subjects received information about their own and their partner's contributions - ability and effort - with respect to the given task, and were then asked to allocate the gain or loss. Contrary to our hypothesis differences in effort were not taken into account to a greater extent than differences in ability. In the second experiment subjects had to allocate the amount gained/lost after receipt of information on intra-dyadic differences in performance; after that they were informed about ability and effort as in the first experiment. When differences in performance were thus explainable through differences in ability - in contrast to effort - a significant number of allocators moved to discount differences in contributions. The different meanings of information on effort and on ability in the two experiments are discussed in the context of models of cognitive algebra.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1982.10.1.105

Publication date: 1982-01-01

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