Causal attributions for good and bad outcomes in achievement and affiliation situations

N. T. Feather

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Three groups of subjects (students, employed, unemployed) provided causal attributions for 16 items that sampled achievement and affiliation situations and positive and negative outcomes in equal amounts. Results in all three groups showed that the causes of good outcomes were more likely to be judged as internal, stable, and global than the causes of bad outcomes and that good outcomes were rated as more important than bad outcomes. Self‐attributions were more likely to occur for achievement situations than for affiliation situations and the causes of these achievement events were seen as more stable but as less global in their impact. Outcomes relating to achievement situations were also judged as more important. The attribution results were supported by a content analysis that classified causes as characterological, behavioural, external, or mixed. Results were discussed in relation to the literature concerning motivational and nonmotivational explanations of so‐called “self‐serving” biases. 1983 Australian Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-48
    Number of pages12
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1983


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