Attribution of responsibility for a naturally occurring event: The 1973 Nobel Peace Prize

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David Cordray
James McMartin
Jerry I. Shaw
Cite this article:  Cordray, D., McMartin, J., & Shaw, J. (1975). Attribution of responsibility for a naturally occurring event: The 1973 Nobel Peace Prize. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 3(1), 37-40.


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On October 16, 1973, the Nobel Peace Prize awards were announced. Within 4 days, a field study was conducted to examine attribution of responsibility for contributions toward peace. Two major findings included (1) an inverse relationship between extremity of outcome and responsibility attribution, and (2) a positive relationship between the respondent’s personal similarity to the target person and responsibility attribution. These results demonstrate the utility of field studies inasmuch as the data are consistent with predictions derived from laboratory investigations of attribution theory.

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