Distinguishing judgments about what from judgments about why: Effects of behavior extremity on correspondent inferences and causal attributions

Darin J. Erickson, Douglas S. Krull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several researchers have reported findings indicating that dispositional inferences and causal attributions differ. This suggests that such findings may reflect a more general difference between correspondent inferences (both dispositional and situational) and causal attributions. Current theory suggests that correspondent inferences are more closely linked to perceived behavior than are causal attributions. If so, then the extremity of behavior should have a greater impact on correspondent inferences than on causal attributions. In support of this hypothesis, our 1st investigation found that perceivers' interpretations of behavior predicted correspondent inferences better than causal attributions. Our 2nd investigation found that a manipulation of the behavior interpretation influenced correspondent inferences but not causal attributions. We discuss implications for current models of attribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

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