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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ethnicity, expectations, and attributions : a theoretical review Takagi, Junko


This thesis examines the effect of ethnicity on assessments of achievement outcomes, and presents a theoretical explanation using Foschi's reformulation. The reformulation integrates aspects of attribution theory and status generalization theory. It proposes that when a higher status performer and a lower status performer are equally successful at a task, the success of the former will tend to be attributed to ability more than the success of the latter. Also, when the two performers are equally unsuccessful at a task, the performance of the lower status person will tend to be attributed to lack of ability more than the performance of the higher status person. The propositions are tested for ethnicity by collecting evidence from attribution studies dealing with ethnicity and assessment of performance outcomes. The findings indicate that there is substantial support for the propositions. Since these have not been directly tested, an experiment is proposed. In the final section of the thesis a standardized experimental format such as the one used in expectation states research is presented.

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