Bernard Weiner

Bernard Weiner
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Department of Psychology

Ph. D.

About

226
Publications
461,605
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
43,773
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Education
September 1959 - June 1963
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Personality

Publications

Publications (226)
Article
Full-text available
Despite increased emphasis on educating students in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM disciplines), nearly half of U.S. college students who enroll in these programs fail to graduate with STEM degrees (Chen & Soldner, 2013). Using archival data from the Motivation and Academic Achievement Database, the present study (n =...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Attribution-based motivation treatments can boost performance in competitive achievement settings (Perry & Hamm, 2017), yet their efficacy relative to mediating processes and affect-based treatments remains largely unexamined. In a two-semester, pre-post, randomized treatment study (n = 806), attributional retraining (AR) and stress-reduction (SR)...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, the empirical and theoretical legacy of an attribution approach to motivation and emotion is reviewed. It is contended that reported empirical findings regarding when causal search is initiated, the perceived causes of events, the three underlying properties of causes (locus, stability, and control), and the relations between these p...
Article
Full-text available
This article outlines the history of an attributional approach motivation and emotion from the author’s perspective. The article highlights the underlying empirical and theoretical consistency in the apparent face of changes in directions. In addition, the article discusses the legacies that have remained.
Article
Full-text available
Attribution theory posits that poverty beliefs vary along the causal properties of locus, stability, personal control, and other control. The current paper extends this framework by using a latent profile analysis to identify the unique response patterns (latent profiles) that underlie these beliefs. Results indicated that participants (N = 315) di...
Chapter
Full-text available
Fritz Heider is the originator of two dominant theories that have impacted a number of research areas within the social sciences, particularly psychology. These conceptions, labeled balance theory and attribution theory, were most visible during the 1960-1980 decades, following the publication of his groundbreaking book The Psychology of Interperso...
Article
Full-text available
In this response to the manuscript by Pilati, attribution theory as applied to motivation is first reviewed. Then shortcomings of Pilati's method and analysis are pointed out. In addition, issues concerning the significance of lack of cross-cultural replication are discussed. © 2015 International Union of Psychological Science.
Chapter
Full-text available
The moral principle of telling the truth, particularly given scientific issues, seems incontrovertible. Here I share two illustrative ethical dilemmas I faced related to communicating the truth that call this rule into question. Giving a “Fair”Evaluation When I was a beginning assistant professor, a well-known athlete who also was a wonderful role...
Article
Full-text available
In this article the history of the attribution approach to emotion and motivation is reviewed. Early motivation theorists incorporated emotion within the pleasure/pain principle but they did not recognize specific emotions. This changed when Atkinson introduced his theory of achievement motivation, which argued that achievement strivings are determ...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested Dweck’s model of achievement goals as related to perceptions of ability. The relationships between individual differences in achievement goal tendencies and perceived causality were examined. First, it was found that American university students can be described as having three kinds of achievement goal tendencies: one learning go...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of motivation on retention were investigated. Using a short-term memory technique, stimuli were cued for different incentives. At a short time interval there were no differences in recall as a function of the incentive condition. However, after a longer interval, stimuli associated with a five cent reward or shock were recalled signific...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a history of the study of motivation from approximately 1900-1975, focusing on achievement strivings and containing little-known and often surprising facts about the main contributors to this field. Four theorists are highlighted: David McClelland, Kurt Lewin, John Atkinson, and Fritz Heider, each associated with a different t...
Article
Full-text available
Research has established that economic decisions often deviate from game theoretic predictions. We explore the process of causal thinking as a possible explanation for such deviations. Specifically, we suggest that causal information affects economic decisions based on the principles advocated by 0105 and 0110 attribution theory (AT) of motivation...
Article
Full-text available
We documented what parents report as the cause of their child’s academic and conduct setbacks and what they say they do in response. We recruited an opportunity sample of 479 parents and narrowed our sample to parents of children without disabilities between the ages of 5–18 (N = 312). Parents responded to open-ended questions, and we coded respons...
Article
Full-text available
Stereotypic beliefs about older adults and the aging process have led to endorsement of the myth that 'to be old is to be ill.' This study examined community-dwelling older adults' (N = 105, age 80+) beliefs about the causes of their chronic illness (ie, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.), and tested the hypothesis that attributing the onset of...
Article
Full-text available
Attribution theory includes mastery and maintenance of society among its ultimate determinants of action and a variety of information sources and emotions as the proximal or immediate determinants of motivation. These goals are guided by two metaphors: the person as a scientist and the person as a judge. I discuss these positions and point out some...
Article
Full-text available
An attributional analysis of reactions to poverty is presented. The article begins by discussing the perceived causes of poverty and their taxonomic properties (locus, stability, and controllability). One antecedent of causal beliefs, political ideology, is then examined in detail, followed by a review of the effects of causal beliefs on emotions a...
Article
Full-text available
Transitions to new achievement settings are often accompanied by unfamiliar learning conditions wherein individuals experience unanticipated failures and engage in dysfunctional explanatory thinking. To counter these developments, attributional retraining (AR) was presented to 457 first-year students following an initial test in a two-semester cour...
Chapter
Full-text available
Attribution theory is concerned with the perceived causes of success and failure for both the self and others. Attributional inquiry focuses on the antecedents of causal beliefs and their consequences. For example, how does one know that one has or does not have ability to complete a task and what are the effects of this belief? Causes have three d...
Article
Full-text available
The history of ideas guiding the development of an attribution-based theory of motivation is presented. These influences include the search for a “grand” theory of motivation (from drive and expectancy/value theory), an attempt to represent how the past may influence the present and the future (as Thorndike accomplished), and the incorporation of c...
Article
Full-text available
Valuable insights about emotional well-being can be learned from studying older adults who have wrestled with differentiating and regulating their emotions while they navigate through the many joys and traumas of a lifetime. Our objective was to document the underlying reasons for older adults' (n = 353, ages 72 -99) emotional experiences. Using a...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter contends that attribution theory as a set of interrelated constructs is not in need of alteration. One must be very careful in the assumptions being made when contrasting ethnic groups, cultures, genders, and so forth. Success for one may be failure for another; causal information for one may be perceived as useless for another; causes...
Article
Full-text available
The issue of theoretical co-existence versus theoretical integration is addressed, considering the relation between attribution theory (AT) and internal norm theory (INT). The connection between the two theories is in part determined by the definition given by internal norm theorists to the concept of "value." If value connotes future expectancy of...
Article
Full-text available
Fifty years after the publication of The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations (Heider, 1958), attribution inquiry remains strong, but no longer dominant. This article examines some of the people (particularly, Fritz Heider, Edward Jones, and Harold Kelley), publications, and conceptual issues that contributed to the duration of this line of work....
Article
Full-text available
The authors found that 3 experiments revealed that compliance with a pro-social request for an anticipated reward as opposed to a threatened punishment resulted in greater inferences of personal morality. In Experiment 1, participants received information about a teaching assistant (TA) who was either promised a reward or threatened with a punishme...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter discusses emotions that are prevalent in a classroom. Many educational researchers have tended to discuss emotions as intrapsychic phenomena. They are defined as subjective or private experiences having a positive or negative quality. Attesting to the personal quality of emotions are their antecedents and methods for identification and...
Article
Full-text available
To pilot test a new behavioral intervention to increase walking in sedentary older adults. Pre-post community-based pilot study. Three senior centers in greater Los Angeles. Forty-six sedentary adults aged 65 and older. At four weekly 1-hour group sessions held at the senior centers, a trained health educator applied a theoretically grounded, stand...
Article
Previous research (Greitemeyer & Weiner, 2003) has demonstrated that compliance to commit a transgression for an anticipated reward as opposed to an anticipated punishment results in greater inferences of personal responsibility. The present studies extend these findings to a courtroom context in which punishment decisions are made. In Study 1, a n...
Article
Full-text available
Attribution theory was used to relate causal explanations for poverty to affect and behavioral intentions. In Experiment 1, student subjects rated 13 causes of poverty on importance, the attribution of controllability, blame, affects of pity and anger, and judgments of help-giving (personal help and welfare). Two individual differences, conservatis...
Article
In 3 studies, we examined the effect of birth outcome on observers' reactions to genetic testing. Participants read a scenario in which a woman declined to take a genetic screening test and subsequently gave birth to a child with a genetic disorder (negative outcome) or a healthy child (positive outcome). Retrospective judgments of the likelihood t...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments are reported which examine causal attributions in achievement-related contexts Subjects were provided with information about an achievement-related activity (the immediate outcome of the action, percentage of prior success and failure at the same and similar tasks, percentage of success and failure of others, time spent at the task,...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT In this article, we report investigations of four role-playing experiments and one laboratory manipulation that examine the effects of confession on forgiveness and other related judgments. The basic paradigm in the simulation studies was to reveal that a political figure or student in a class confessed either following or not following an...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has documented that attributional information contained in causal accounts for success induce impressions of arrogance and modesty. The research further examined the role of accounts as well as level of success when perceivers know the real reason for success. Two studies of university students revealed that honesty strongly decre...
Article
Social Motivation, Justice, and the Moral Emotions proposes an attribution theory of interpersonal or social motivation that distinguishes between the role of thinking and feeling in determining action. The place of this theory within the larger fields of motivation and attributional analyses is explored. It features new thoughts concerning social...
Article
Full-text available
The present review syntheses 64 investigations on the determinants of helping and aggression involving more than 12,000 subjects, providing empirical tests of Weiner's (1986, 1995) theory of social conduct. A meta-analytic test of the proposed causal cognition-emotion-behaviour sequence reveals that judgements of responsibility determine the emotio...
Article
Full-text available
Social scientists have documented more negative reactions to the concept of welfare versus the concept of poor, despite the fact that both labels can be used almost interchangeably in current political discussions. We believe that the most proximal explanation rests in the different attributional information contained within the stereotypes of welf...
Article
Full-text available
Five studies examined responsibility inferences and/or person and situation attributions in positively versus negatively valenced motivational contexts. In Experiment 1, participants received information about a teaching assistant who was promised a reward or threatened with a punishment when asked for compliance with a requested transgression. The...
Article
Full-text available
When 2 persons--an acquaintance who could not have avoided a problem and a close relative who is responsible for her own plight--ask for help, attribution theory and sociobiology conflict about who will receive help. Attribution theorists assume that the nonresponsible acquaintance will be supported, but sociobiologists argue that the responsible s...
Article
Full-text available
More positivity than negativity is demonstrated in this analysis of discrete emotions among 353 community-dwelling individuals from 72 to 99 years old. A complexity in positive emotions was displayed, with more happiness, contentment, and gratitude reported than frustration, sadness, and anger. Our results also imply that another individual's prese...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research related to pleasure at another's misfortune has focused on the role of envy and competition in inducing such feelings. Additionally, some views assume that this emotion is restricted to mild misfortunes. In this paper, we propose that other-directed negative emotions (e.g., dislike and anger), independent of envy, can give rise to...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research related to pleasure at another's misfortune has focused on the role of envy and competition in inducing such feelings. Additionally, some views assume that this emotion is restricted to mild misfortunes. In this paper, we propose that other-directed negative emotions (e.g., dislike and anger), independent of envy, can give rise to...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: This paper provides an overview of the cognitive approaches that have recently been used to study stress and coping. Our review focuses on empirical research that links an individual's initial cognitive interpretation (e.g. appraisal, attribution) of a stressor to coping methods and psychological and physical adjustment. The cogn...
Article
Full-text available
The study of achievement motivation has been focused on the prediction of performance, while neglecting the self- and other-directed emotions and personality inferences that are inherent in achievement settings. Attributional principles are used here to provide a research scaffold to study these neglected topics. Included within the paper are exami...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
There are a multitude of possible reactions that teachers can have toward students who fall below academic standards. Some of these reactions have utilitarian goals, whereas others are punitive. In this study, the authors investigated these reactions, as well as the situations that determine when these different strategies are likely to be used. Bo...
Article
Full-text available
Attribution theory predicts that when someone is perceived as responsible for a negative event, this inference elicits feelings of anger and anger evokes aggressive responding. In contrast, perceived nonresponsibility should be linked to feelings of sympathy and less aggression. These thinking-feeling-action linkages were applied to the domain of c...
Article
Full-text available
The present meta-analytic review assessed the relations between causal attributions, coping, and psychological adjustment in individuals with physical illnesses or undergoing medical procedures. A theoretical model predicting psychological adjustment was proposed. It was hypothesized that causal attributions would be both directly related to psycho...
Article
Full-text available
Guided by Robinson’s general belief that polite language yields trust from others, the authors examined the likelihood of apology acceptance in two cultures (Japan and the United States).Prior to reading a scenario in which they were to imagine being mistreated by their classmates, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three perspective...
Article
Full-text available
In this context, I will present the current state of my attributional approach to motivation and classroom issues. The picture I will paint includes two inter-related theories. Imagine, for example, a student has just received a poor grade on an exam and we, as psychologists, desire to predict if he or she will continue in school or drop out. Among...
Article
Full-text available
Within impression management and attribution research confession presents a paradox. Rather than trying to reduce blame, confessors accept responsibility for the transgression. Yet confession is an effective strategy for positive impression formation. In this article, the explanation for these benefits focuses on other's utilitarian concerns regard...
Article
Full-text available
Two factors are assumed to induce impressions of arrogance and modesty in reaction to others' accounts for success: the dimensions underlying the cause for success and the perceived desirability of the cause. Guided by Weiner's attribution theory (B. Weiner, 1986), it was proposed that accounts ascribing success to internal, stable, uncontrollable,...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies explored liberals’ and conservatives’ perceptions of themselves and other liberals and conservatives. Participants reported how much assistance they would recommend for needy persons who were nonresponsible and responsible for their plights (i.e., were more and less deserving) and predicted how much liberal and conservative others would...
Article
In 3 studies, we examined the effect of birth outcome on observers' reactions to genetic testing. Participants read a scenario in which a woman declined to take a genetic screening test and subsequently gave birth to a child with a genetic disorder (negative outcome) or a healthy child (positive outcome). Retrospective judgments of the likelihood t...
Article
Full-text available
Two fundamental principles from attribution theory were examined for the role they might play in the psychology of the consumer. They are: (1) perceptions of causality along a stability dimension influence the anticipated likelihood of product satisfaction, and (2) perceptions of causality along a controllability dimension influence judgments of re...
Article
Full-text available
Two related attribution theories of motivation are examined. One, an intrapersonal theory, includes self-directed thoughts (particularly expectancy of success) and self-directed emotions (pride, guilt, and shame). The second is an interpersonal theory and includes beliefs about the responsibility of others and other-directed affects of anger and sy...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the effect of a target's personality and responsibility for a misdeed on a perceiver's emotions and behavior by determining the variables' impact on the perceiver's emotional reactions and willingness to help the target. A total of 134 Germans and 171 Americans were given information about the level of responsibility (low...
Article
Full-text available
Attempts to document that attributional analyses have contributed to the understanding of problems that lie at the heart of personality psychology. To accomplish this goal, a distinction is drawn between the stimulus–organism (S-O) connection and organism's responses to those constructions (O-R) or the attributional process. The authors address top...
Conference Paper
Using an attributional framework, the study examined college students' (N=529) expectations of their future economic outcomes and the role they perceived that discrimination would play in determining these outcomes. Expectancies for self, locus of causality for outcomes, self-esteem, locus of causality for failure, locus of causality for success, a...
Article
Full-text available
In organizations, many of the crucial decisions concern employees, particularly regarding those who perform poorly. One theory that can potentially assist in understanding how personnel managers make personnel decisions is Weiner's (1995a) attributional theory of social conduct. Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of ability (low,...
Article
Full-text available
Two basic goals of punishment—retribution and utility—and the means to those goals, including isolation, rehabilitation, and the creation of fear, were first examined. The objectives of punishment were then related to attributions regarding the cause of a transgression. It was documented that punishment goals are mediated by the expectancies and af...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the attributional determinants of punishment decisions. Study 1 investigated public reactions to 0. J. Simpson during the week following his arrest for the murder of his ex-wife. Respondents who believed Simpson was guilty were asked about their perceptions of the causes of his alleged crime, their affective reactions of anger...
Article
Full-text available
Italian schoolboys (aged 9–10 yrs) participated in 3 experiments guided by attribution theory as conceptualized by B. Weiner (1985, 1986). In Exp 1, following teacher-emotional feedback of anger or sympathy for failure, Ss rated attributional inferences regarding low ability or lack of effort as the cause of that failure. In Exp 2, controllable and...
Article
Full-text available
Six studies explored self-enhancing beliefs about own fairness relative to others. Persons reported that it is fair to base punishment on a transgressor's responsibility for his or her actions, that they base their rewards and punishments more strongly on a target's responsibility than do others, and that others, but not the self reward and punish...
Article
Full-text available
Regularities in social motivation are derived from a causal analysis of the ability-effort distinction, which has implications for perceptions of responsibility. A responsibility analysis is then extended and applied to reactions to the stigmatized, help-giving, and aggression. The relation between explanation in terms of processes and mechanisms v...
Article
Full-text available
Article
The story of Magic Johnson, the renowned basketball star who now carries the acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) virus, pervaded the popular press and media in 1991, not just in the United States but around the world as well. In addition to pointing out the extensity of responsibility judgments in everyday life, the chapter analyzes the responsibility...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Four goals of affirmative action in higher education are described as they relate to psychology admissions. Broadly conceived, these goals are compensating for past injustice, correcting present inequity, promoting intellectual diversity, and enhancing the presence of role models. It is argued that the four goals differ in their underlying assumpti...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of age and aggressive status on children's understanding and use of excuses. Younger (3rd–5th grade) and older (6th–8th grade) aggressive and nonaggressive African American boys were first instructed to imagine that they failed to fulfill a social obligation. The cause of the transgression was presented as controllab...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Empirical research clearly documents that attributions of failure to lack of ability result in less punishment from others than do ascriptions to lack of effort. In addition, personal attributions of failure to lack of ability result in worse subsequent performance than do ascriptions to an absence of effort. This paper provides a conceptual analys...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the moral determinants of achievement evaluation. Conceptual analyses of the distinction between ability and effort are offered in which responsibility inferences and affective reactions play key roles mediating the relations between causal attributions and evaluation. Three new research directions are then pointed out that pe...
Article
Italian male school children, ranging in age from 7 to 10 years, were identified as at-risk children on the basis of self-reports, teacher questionnaires, and peer nominations assessing aggression, emotional instability, and pro-social behaviour. Together with a normal control sample, these children participated in two studies guided by attribtiona...
Article
Full-text available
Attributional rules that govern students’ self‐presentation tactics in school situations are presented. Recent research is reviewed that shows how children learn to strategically manipulate their teachers’ and classmates’ social responses toward themselves by varying their public accounts of achievement failures and successes. The implications of c...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examiness ome moral componentso f achievements trivings. A conceptual analysis of the distinction between ability and effort is offered in which the assignmento f responsibilityan d the affectiver eactionse licitedby this beliefp lay key roles in mediatingb etweenan achievemenot utcomeand the evaluationo f that outcome.Three new research...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research on why some children are disliked by their classmates, why students do or do not help one another, and how children manage to get along with teachers and classmates is reviewed in this article. A motivational approach focusing on attribution theory is used to examine these questions. Inferences of responsibility and feelings of ange...
Article
Full-text available
Lack of effort as a cause of achievement failure evokes more punishment than does lack of ability. Perceptions of the controllability of these causes, inferences about personal responsibility, and affective reactions of sympathy and anger mediate between the causal perceptions of ability and effort and punishment responses. This general theory of s...
Article
Principles from attribution theory were used to analyze public reactions to the health status of Magic Johnson. An experimental study containing two distinct samples (college students and African-American adults) together with supplemental reports from local and national media confirm the value of this approach. The findings show that inferences ab...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments examined inferences about the presence of additional causes (multiple causality) when the emotions evoked by an event were either positive or negative. There were also variations in the intensity of the emotional experience, the magnitude of the eliciting event, the direction of the emotion (toward the se4f or another), and the pe...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
The major metaphorical themes in motivation are reviewed and associated with psychological theories and characteristic research. The history of motivation is construed as reflecting 2 major metaphors: The person is a machine, and the person is Godlike. In addition, a new submetaphor is proposed as directing current thinking in the field: The person...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies are reported that examined attribution-emotion-action linkages across the lifespan. Specifically, two sets of relations were examined: (1) that between causal controllability, the social emotions of anger and pity, and intended helping behavior; and (2) that between causal locus, the achievement-related emotion of pride, and intended se...
Article
Full-text available
2 principles from attribution theory, covariation and hedonic bias, were employed to examine mothers' attributions for their children's outcomes in the academic, social, and personality domains. Mother of 5–17-year-old gifted, regular, and special education children who were from only-child or multiple-child families made attributions for offspring...
Article
Full-text available
Three investigations described the contents and goals of excuses, focusing on how these goals can be reached by altering causal perceptions of the recipient of the excuse. It was found that there are three goals of public excuses that can be incorporated within an attributional analysis: to preserve the self-esteem, lessen the anger, and change the...
Article
Full-text available
Affective reactions toward eight disease-related stigmas and the intention to extend social support were examined in a simulation experiment. The onset of the stigmas was varied as being either controllable or uncontrollable. In addition, the target person was described either as actively coping with the stigma or as not coping. The research questi...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (7)