Measuring Causal Attributions for Success and Failure: A Comparison of Methodologies for Assessing Causal Dimensions

Daniel W. Russell, Edward McAuley, Valerie Tarico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study evaluated the reliability and validity of three commonly used procedures for assessing the dimensional properties of causal attributions for success and failure. These methods of assessment were based on open-ended attributions for performance, importance ratings of different causes of success and failure, and the attributor's perception of his or her causal attribution for performance as assessed by the Causal Dimension Scale. Data were collected on causal attributions, expected and actual performance, subjective evaluations of performance, and affective reactions from a group of students before and after their midterm examination. Analyses were conducted to evaluate the reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, and construct validity of the attribution measures. The results generally supported the use of the Causal Dimension Scale over the other methods of assessing causal dimensions. Implications of these findings for attribution research and possible improvements in the Causal Dimension Scale are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1257
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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