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The Actor-Observer Effect as a Function of Performance Outcome and Nationality of Other

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Abstract:

The purpose in this study was to compare the reasons that individuals provided for their own academic performance outcomes and the outcomes of others of differing nationalities. For American self, as well as American other, Mexican, Canadian, English, Russian, and Japanese others, participants rated the influence of internal and external causal factors on both successful and unsuccessful examination outcomes. Predictions drawn from the integration of the actor-observer effect (Jones & Nisbett, 1971) and ego-serving bias theory (Miller & Ross, 1975) were tested. Results provided support for an extended overall actor-observer effect in that as the nationality of other became more dissimilar, individuals ascribed increasingly greater internal causation for the behavioral outcomes of others (as compared to self). Additionally, results provided support for the operation of a self-serving, self-other comparison process in that the actor-observer tendency emerged quite differently in successful, as compared to unsuccessful, performance outcome situations.

Keywords: ACTOR-OBSERVER EFFECT; EGO-SERVING BIAS; NATIONALITY OF OTHER; PERFORMANCE OUTCOME

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2010.38.10.1335

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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