Attribution and the psychology of prediction

Richard E. Nisbett, Eugene Borgida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


Described 2 previously conducted psychology experiments to a total of 128 male undergraduates in 2 experiments. Some Ss were told about the actual distribution of behavior in the experiments, and others were not. Knowledge of the distributions did not influence Ss' attributions about the causes of the behavior of original participants nor their predictions about what their own behavior might be. As expected, base rate information did not even affect Ss' guesses about the behavior of particular target members of the original experimental populations. It is concluded that Ss ignore base rates for behavior just as they ignore base rates for category membership. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-943
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 1975


  • knowledge of actual distribution of behavior in previous psychology experiments vs no knowledge, attributions about causes of behavior of participants &
  • predictions of own behavior, male college students


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