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Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to examine the interrelation of the attributional principles of covariation, discounting, and augmentation. In Experiment 1 the presence (vs. absence) of covariation information was manipulated orthogonally to the number of plausible causes for an effect (one vs. two). In Experiment 2 the number of plausible causes for an effect (one vs. two) was manipulated orthogonally to the presence (vs. absence) of an inhibitory factor. The major findings of this research were interpreted to mean that the covariation principle may be applied concomitantly with the discounting principle and that the latter principle pertains to a different aspect of the attributional process than does the augmentation principle. Implications of these findings for the further development of attribution theory were considered.