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Effect of target on actor and observer causal attributions Rank, Darylynn Starr

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate actor-observer differences in causal attribution to either situational or dispositional factors. A critical review of the literature suggests that stable directional differences may not exist. It was hypothesized that the informational needs of the audience hearing the attribution would be a major determinant of the nature of actor-observer differences. Specifically, as predicted, differences between self and other attributions disappeared when the audience was a stranger. The implications of these results were discussed with reference to the actor-observer attributional literature and theory as well as to attribution research in general.

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