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October 2021

The causal influences of attributions on emotions: A procedural priming approach

Journal/Book: Psychol Sci. 2000; 11: 350 Main Street, Ste 6, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Blackwell Publishers. 179-182.

Abstract: According to attributional theories of emotion, feelings of guilt presuppose that the causes of a negative event are located within the individual (internal attribution), whereas feelings of anger presuppose that the causes of the eliciting event are located outside the individual (external attribution). This study tested whether these attributions in fact exert the claimed causal influence on emotional experiences. The study employed a procedural priming technique in which neutral events were repeatedly attributed either to oneself (internal attribution) or to another person (external attribution). Subsequently, ambiguous as to its causes. The results reveal that the prior repeated participants were exposed to a negative event that was use of internal attributions enhanced the tendency to experience guilt, whereas the repeated use of external attributions enhanced the tendency to experience anger. These findings support the assumption that attributions exert a causal influence on emotions.

Note: Article Neumann R, Univ Wurzburg, Lehrstuhl Psychol 2, Rontgenring 10, D-97070 Wurzburg, GERMANY


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