Attribution and behavior: Two field studies

Mark G. McGee, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conducted 2 field studies in which a total of 60 18-64 yr old Ss were observed in restaurants to investigate the relationship between self-perceptions of situational vs dispositional causation of behavior and situational vs dispositional control of actual observed behavior. In each study it was found that Ss who ascribed relatively few traits to themselves (situational self-attribution) were particularly likely to salt their food after tasting it (situationally controlled behavior). By contrast, Ss who ascribed relatively many traits to themselves (dispositional self-attribution) were particularly likely to salt their food before tasting it (dispositionally controlled behavior). In addition, in Study 2 it was found that Ss who salted their food before tasting it explained their behavior in terms of characteristics of themselves; Ss who salted after tasting their food explained their behavior in terms of characteristics of the food. The concepts of situational vs dispositional control of behavior are discussed and a reconceptualization proposed. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1975

Keywords

  • self-perceptions of situational vs dispositional causation of behavior &
  • situational vs dispositional control of actual observed behavior, 18-64 yr olds

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