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Attribution tendencies of popular and unpopular children

Aydin O & Markova I (1979) Attribution tendencies of popular and unpopular children. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 18 (3), pp. 291-298.

Forty-one popular and 36 unpopular 8–10 year old children were presented with 11 ambiguous pictures, five of them with ongoing actions and six with completed actions with a negative outcome. The pictures were designed to investigate a child's tendency to attribute positive or negative intentions, and personal or impersonal causality, respectively. Subjects were asked to make up stories about each of the pictures, and in a second session were given a questionnaire with multiple choice answers, related to each of the pictures. The following results were obtained: (1)Popular children attributed more impersonal causes to negative outcomes in both stories and questionnaires (F= 16.27,F= 14.35, respectively,P<0.001), and more positive intentions (F= 15.59,F= 24.52 respectively,P<0.001). There was no effect of sex, but a main effect of age (F= 3.15,P<0.05) showing an increasing tendency with age to attribute negative intentions to uncompleted actions when using the questionnaire method. (2)A high correlation between intention scores and causality scores demonstrates that attribution of positive intentions and impersonal causality on the one hand, and of negative intentions and personal causality on the other hand, are expressions of the same general attributional tendency.

British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Volume 18, Issue 3

Author(s)Aydin, Orhan; Markova, Ivana
Publication date30/09/1979
Date accepted by journal23/06/1978
PublisherThe British Psychological Society
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