Self-awareness, probability of improvement, and the self-serving bias.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The self-serving attributional bias—attributing success internally and failure externally—appears for many psychologists to have achieved the status of an empirical fact (Brown & Rogers, 1991). Researchers indeed find a consistent tendency for individuals to attribute success to self (e.g., Miller & Ross, 1975). Yet the literature on failure attributions shows a lot of variability. Many experiments find external attributions for failure (e.g., Snyder, Stephan, & Rosenfield, 1976, 1978). Many other studies, however, find internal attributions for failure (e.g., Ames, 1975; Ross, Bierbrauer, & Polly, 1974; Weary et al., 1982). In fact, Zuckerman's (1979) qualitative review reveals broad diversity in effects. Among 13 studies on attributions for failed interpersonal influence, for example, 5 found a self-serving pattern, 4 found a non-self-serving pattern, and 4 found no effects. A recent quantitative review found that the distribution of effect sizes ranged across positive and negative values (Campbell & Sedikides, 1999, p. 34); self-serving and non-self-serving effects were observed frequently.

Additional Information

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 49-61
Language: English
Date: 2005
Self-awareness, Self-serving attributional bias

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