Measurement and interpretation of situational and dispositional attributions

Frederick D. Miller, Eliot R. Smith, James Uleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Four problems with the measurement of situational and dispositional causality are reviewed. These are: the assumption that dispositional and situational causality are inversely linked; the diversity of the causes considered within the situational and dispositional categories; the difficulties of differentiating between causes internal and external to the actor; and the low convergent validity of various closed-ended attribution measures. A study reaffirms the lack of convergence among closed-ended measures and between closed and open-ended measures as well. In a second study, subjects' ratings of closed-ended attributions are taken as indicators that a freely chosen to not freely chosen dimension may better represent subjects' attributional thought than the internal/external dimension does. Open-ended data from the convergence study are recoded using this scheme and achieve significantly better convergence with closed-ended data. The implications of this redefinition for solving the various measurement problems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-95
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981

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Causality
attribution
causality
interpretation
cause
rating
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  • Social Psychology

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Measurement and interpretation of situational and dispositional attributions. / Miller, Frederick D.; Smith, Eliot R.; Uleman, James.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1981, p. 80-95.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Miller, Frederick D. ; Smith, Eliot R. ; Uleman, James. / Measurement and interpretation of situational and dispositional attributions. In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 1981 ; Vol. 17, No. 1. pp. 80-95.
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