David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Psychologica Belgica 42:113-130 (2002)
It has been hypothesized that actors tend to attribute behavior to the situation whereas observers tend to attribute behavior to the person (Jones & Nisbett 1972). The authors argue that this simple hypothesis fails to capture the complexity of actual actor-observer differences in people’s behavioral explanations. A new framework is proposed in which reason explanations are distinguished from explanations that cite causes, especially stable traits. With this framework in place, it becomes possible to show that there are a number of distinct actorobserver asymmetries in explanation, each stemming from a distinct psychological process by which explanations are generated.
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