ERIC Number: ED226290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug-24
Group Diffusion of Cognitive Effort as a Determinant of Attribution.
Quintanar, Leo R.; Pryor, John B.
The tendency for individuals to reduce their own efforts when others are available to respond has been called "social loafing." Social loafing has been found also to characterize collective endeavors on tasks considered cognitively efffortful. To test the hypothesis that reduced cognitive effort related to the presence of a coacting group would lead to a less systematic analysis of covariation information in forming causal attributions and a possibly greater susceptibility to salience factors, 36 undergraduates completed a 48 item questionnaire in which each item consisted of a statement of person-object relationship, i.e., like or dislike; supplemental information; and rating scales for subjects' self reports about the separate causal influences of the person and the object in the relationship. Results indicated that when a person was described as disliking an object and covariation information suggested that the object was the primary cause of the relationship, subjects who shared responsibility for the attribution task with a group were less extreme in their attributions than subjects who felt they were individually responsible. The findings suggest that group diffusion of cognitive effort is predictive of the degreee and quality of causal attributions. (Author/PAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).