AUTHORS' NOTE: We wish to thank Nick Valentino and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful insights and comments on this project.
Where Does the Buck Stop? Applying Attribution Theory to Examine Public Appraisals of the President
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2011
© 2011 Center for the Study of the Presidency
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 41, Issue 2, pages 334–357, June 2011
How to Cite
SIRIN, C. V. and VILLALOBOS, J. D. (2011), Where Does the Buck Stop? Applying Attribution Theory to Examine Public Appraisals of the President. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 41: 334–357. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2011.03857.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2011
This study applies attribution theory to examine public appraisals of the president. To date, most political science research on attribution theory has focused on domestic policy, and no work has considered both domestic and foreign policy domains in tandem. To fill this gap, we formulate and experimentally test a series of hypotheses regarding the level of responsibility and credit/blame that individuals attribute to the president in both policy domains across varying policy conditions. We also consider how party compatibility affects people's attribution judgments. Our findings provide a new contribution to the literature on political attributions, executive accountability, and public perceptions of presidential performance.