Egocentric biases in availability and attribution

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Abstract

Conducted 5 experiments to assess biases in availability of information in memory and attributions of responsibility for the actions and decisions that occurred during a previous group interaction. The S populations sampled included naturally occurring discussion groups (of undergraduates), 37 married couples, 74 female and 84 male players on intercollegiate basketball teams, and groups of undergraduates assembled in the laboratory. Data provide consistent evidence for egocentric biases in availability and attribution: The S's own contributions to a joint product were more readily available, i.e., more frequently and easily recalled, and Ss accepted more responsibility for a group product than other participants attributed to them. In addition, statements attributed to the self were recalled more accurately and the availability bias was attenuated, though not eliminated, when the group product was negatively evaluated. When another S's contributions were made more available to the S via a selective retrieval process, this S allocated correspondingly more responsibility for the group decisions to the coparticipant. The determinants and pervasiveness of the egocentric biases are considered. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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