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Abstract

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.