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Getting the Job: Attributional Retraining and the Employment Interview


Shannan Jackson, 149 Slater Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R2G 0N6. E-mail:


This study examined the effectiveness of attributional retraining (AR) in an employment interview setting. Our sample consisted of 50 co-operative education students completing job interviews who were randomly assigned to a control or writing-based AR condition. Dependent measures included attributions, expectations, and affect, as well as behavior with respect to an interview skills workshop, and actual employment outcomes. Results showed AR to promote controllable failure attributions, expectations, motivated behavior, and interview success, particularly among participants with maladaptive baseline attributions. Findings further revealed AR effects on emotions mediated by post-treatment attributions. Implications for attribution theory and research on AR in employment settings are discussed.