Self-enhancement motivational bias in attributions of causality and responsibility to a target other : situational and dispositional determinants
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Scott T. Allison
Dr. Dafna Eylon
Dr. Ping Li
Prior research has shown that people often self-enhance to protect their self-concept from harm. The present research was designed to investigate situational and dispositional determinants of people's tendency to make self-enhancing attributions to a partner to whom they either do or do not feel psychologically connected to. In Experiment 1, participants who had been induced to self-extend to a partner made greater attributions of causality to the partner when the partner's fate was positive than when it was negative. Experiment 2 provided evidence for a dispositional component of self-extension, and indicated that perceivers' attributions to a partner are further influenced by the perceivers' contribution to a joint outcome. The results of the two studies provide support for a self-enhancement bias in evaluations of a connected target other, and offer evidence that these biased evaluations do in fact play a role in determining behavior towards the target of the evaluation.
Dent, Jennifer Leigh, "Self-enhancement motivational bias in attributions of causality and responsibility to a target other : situational and dispositional determinants" (1998). Master's Theses. 622.