The present research was facilitated by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (1R08 31910) to Robert Arkin and from the National Science Foundation (BNS78-08834) to Harris Cooper, Principal Investigator. Funds for the online computer search were provided by the Center for Research in Social Behavior. Special thanks are extended to Miron Zuckerman for critical comments on an earlier draft and for providing statistical information on several of the included studies. Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert Arkin, Department of Psychology, 210 McAlester Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
A statistical review of the literature concerning the self-serving attribution bias in interpersonal influence situations1
Version of Record online: 13 JUL 2007
Journal of Personality
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 435–448, December 1980
How to Cite
Arkin, R., Cooper, H. and Kolditz, T. (1980), A statistical review of the literature concerning the self-serving attribution bias in interpersonal influence situations. Journal of Personality, 48: 435–448. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1980.tb02378.x
- Issue online: 13 JUL 2007
- Version of Record online: 13 JUL 2007
- Manuscript received August 6, 1979; revised December 3, 1979.
Based upon his review of the self-serving attribution bias literature, Zuckerman (1979) concluded that research employing an interpersonal influence setting was less likely than other research paradigms to produce significant differences in self-attribution for success and failure. A survey of the research reviewed by Zuckerman as well as a more current survey of the relevant literature were undertaken. Statistical combinations of these two sets of evidence revealed Zuckerman's assessment may have been too conservative, at least with respect to two of three experimental paradigms. Additionally, a general tendency of individuals to assume more personal responsibility for success than failure on interpersonal influence tasks was found in the more comprehensive survey. Finally, the evidence concerning interactions of performance outcome with either contextual variables or individual differences indicated that the self-serving bias may be stronger under certain conditions than others and for certain types of individuals. Discussion centered on the conceptual distinctions between interpersonal influence and other achievement settings.