Observer attribution: Effects of dynamic qualities of the actor

Robert M. Arkin1, Shelley Duval2, Virginia Hensley Duval2
1University of Missouri - Columbia, United States
2University of Southern California, United States
Cite this article:  Arkin, R. M., Duval, S., & Hensley Duval, V. (1978). Observer attribution: Effects of dynamic qualities of the actor. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 6(1), 105-108.

Volume 6 Issue 1 | e204 | Published: February 1978 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1978.6.1.105

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Research has shown that observers tend to attribute causality for an actor's behavior to dispositional characteristics of the actor rather than to external factors. Several authors have suggested that this phenomenon occurs because observers tend to focus attention on the actor. The present experiment was designed to determine whether dynamic qualities of the actor can, in part, account for observers' attentional and attributional behavior. Subjects were assigned the role of observers and were exposed to either a mildly dynamic or a stable actor. Subjects' attributions for the actor's behavior revealed that greater causality was attributed to the dynamic actor.
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