Overcoming errors: A closer look at the attributional mechanism

G.J. Homsma, C. van Dyck, T.C. de Gilder, P.L. Koopman, T. Elfring

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    We extend the knowledge about the causal attribution mechanism by investigating the roles of causal ascription (stability and locus of causality) and causal interpretation (personal control and responsibility) after error occurrence. One hundred twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions (internal vs. external by unstable vs. stable attribution instructions). Internal unstable ascriptions lead to higher perceived control after error occurrence. Both control and responsibility, in turn, predict task behavior. While causal interpretation predicts outcome measures, causal ascriptions are related to the same measures only indirectly. Implications for research and practice are discussed. © Springer Science+Business, LCC 2007.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)559-583
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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