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ERIC Number: ED185180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jan-2
Causal Attributions Outside the Laboratory: Explaining Poverty.
Smith, Eliot R.; Kluegel, James R.
One hundred and seventy five adults were surveyed to collect data on attributes and attitudes related to poverty. The authors attempted to evaluate attributions outside a laboratory setting in order to collect data applicable to real-world settings, taking into consideration the complexities of modern society. The study was concerned with the relationship between abstract attribution processes and the meaningful real issues of social inequality. Two issues were considered: the determinants of attributions regarding inequality, and the role attributions play in mediating politically relevant attitudes. Factor analysis of responses revealed that attributions are largely determined by perceptions and other attitudes rather than by social position. Some ego-defensive attributions were also relevant. Attributions were found to have important consequences for politically relevant attitudes and policy preferences. The authors conclude that while laboratory derived theories of attribution are applicable to real world settings, they must be supplemented by broader-based studies. (Author/MK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared for the American Sociological Association Session on Attribution, Cognitive, and Related Processes.