Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Scott T. Allison

Second Advisor

Dr. Dafna Eylon

Third Advisor

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.

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