The Land Is Fertile, But the Farmers Need a Cooperative

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(9), 680–682. Reviews the book, New Directions in Attribution Research, Vol. 2 edited by John H. Harvey, William Ickes, and Robert F. Kidd (1978). Attribution theory attempts to explain how people understand the causes of social behavior. It is unreasonable to expect a volume of contributed chapters to take a consistent theoretical position. But the conceptual inconsistencies that do appear are significant enough to warrant comment. Unfortunately, two of the strongest chapters in the present volume take positions that differ not only from the two-factor view, but also from each other: Weiner concludes that only cognitions are necessary and sufficient, and Zillman argues that yet a third factor is required to account for immediate emotional behavior when the instigation is clear. problems of emotion and of internal-external attribution are not isolated examples, although they are the most glaring instances of inconsistency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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