Causal attributions for male and female success and failure at occupations differing in perceived status and sex‐linked appropriateness

N. T. Feather

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Male and female subjects answered a questionnaire involving a cue in which a male and a female were in competition for the same occupation and in which one character in the cue (male or female) succeeded and the other failed. The occupation could vary in status (high, low) and sex‐linkage (male‐dominated, female‐dominated). Subjects rated the importance of different possible causes of success (easy task, ability, hard work, good luck, sex‐typing) for the cue character who succeeded and of different possible cases of failure (dificult task, lack of ability, lack of effort, bad luck, sex‐typing) for the cue character who failed. Results showed that status of occupation provided information about causal determinants. Also, subjects displayed an external bias in explaining unexpected successes compared with expected successes. But both external and internal causes were invoked in accounting for unexpected failures compared with expected failures. Overall, personal causes of outcomes were seen as more important than situational causes. Results were interpreted as consistent with the view that outcomes that disconfirm pre‐existing causal schemata will be treated as exceptions to the general rules and their causes will be assigned to unstable or unique determinants. 1977 Australian Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-165
    Number of pages15
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Volume29
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1977

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