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Abstract

Since the 1970s, it has been agreed that ‘internal’ people, who explain what happens to them by internal explanations (their behaviors, their aptitudes, their efforts, their personality, etc.) were more likely to succeed than ‘external’ people, who explain the same outcomes by external explanations such as chance, situational difficulties, the power of others, or fate. The social superiority of internal people is explained in terms of their personality (locus of control). Looking further into the intuitions of American researchers, a French school of thought attempted to show that internal explanations are socially valued. It was suggested that there exists a social judgment norm that could be called the norm of internality and that, perhaps, the success of ‘internal’ people was more specifically due to the fact that social appraisers, whether in school, in organizations, in the courts of justice, prefer this type of person because such people adhere more easily to current social ways of functioning.