Luck and the unexpected outcome: A field replication of labroratory findings

N. T. Feather, J. G. Simon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    First year students taking their first exam in introductory psychology estimated how confident they were that they could pass the exam before they began it. At the end of the exam they rated how successful they thought they had been (subjective performance) and attributed causality for their performance in terms of ability, effort, luck, and difficulty. Subsequently, after actual grades had been posted, they attributed causality again in terms of the same four factors. Results indicated that subjects saw luck (good or bad) as more a cause of actual outcome when the outcome was unexpected than when it was expected but this result did not occur for subjective performance. Attribution to the other factors (ability, effort, difficulty) did not depend upon outcome (actual or subjective) in relation to initial expectation. As in previous studies initial confidence and actual performance were positively correlated and males had higher initial confidence ratings than females. 1972 Australian Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)113-117
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1972


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