ERIC Number: ED115625
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
Attributions of Success and Failure for Males and Females as Actors and Observers.
Bar-Tal, Daniel; Frieze, Irene Hanson
This study compares the differences in causal attributions of a person experiencing success or failure in an achievement situation (the actor) and someone who read about the situation (the observer). The subjects were given sets of anagrams which varied in difficulty. The results of both studies showed that actors were relatively more likely to perceive their outcomes as caused by external factors (task difficulty and luck), while observers attributed these outcomes more to internal factors (effort). Attributions for both actors and observers were also strongly affected by whether the outcome was a success or a failure. Hypotheses concerning significant differences in attributions made by male and female observers or actors were only weakly supported; however, the data that did emerge suggested a general tendency toward stereotypic thinking by both sexes, but especially by male observers. It has been suggested that the differential attributions made by an actor and an observer may cause conflicts in educational settings, where the student is the actor and the teacher the observer. However, this present study explores a situation that differs from a classroom situation, and additional research is needed to investigate differential attributions of teachers and pupils. (BD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.