The attributions of actors and observers concerning performance in a football game

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To examine how football players (actors) and their coaches (observers) account for performance, varsity college football players answered a questionnaire immediately following a game and then two days later after coaches and players had viewed the game films. Junior varsity players answered the same questionnaire but without the aid of game films. There was support for Jones and Nisbett's notion that actors make more situational attributions than observers, although there was no difference between actors and observers in their emphasis on internal factors. In contrast to experimental research, players did not make more internal attributions after viewing the films. Both players and coaches were more likely to use internal factors to account for success in the varsity game. For the junior varsity, only players emphasized internal factors to account for success, suggesting a motivational bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1981


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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