In adopting attribution theory, researchers in the field of sport psychology have followed the cognitive perspectives characteristic of mainstream investigations in this area. Numerous investigations regarding the self-perception of achievement outcomes in sport reveal this trend. The present article discusses the sport psychological perspective of attribution theory in terms of present and future concerns. First, a critical evaluation of existing approaches to the study of sport attribution is presented. The discussion outlines the typical characteristics of such investigations and their problems, some inherited from psychology and others unique to sport. This critical analysis underscores the narrowness of previous interests. Second, the broad scope of attribution is presented to emphasize the wealth of research problems that could be studied, in addition to those concerning self-focus on achievement outcomes. Third, recent investigations of attribution in sport are briefly described to exemplify new research directions. These examples sketch the importance of subjects' phenomenology, the situational and internal variables affecting attributions, and a developmental comment. If future studies recognize the rich array of social inference problems within the sport context and confront previous investigative errors, the result should be a productive decade of attribution research in sport psychology.
Both investigators contributed significantly to the development of this review and, accordingly, consider its authorship as joint. Order of authorship was determined by a coin toss.
A paper that initiated the development of the present manuscript was presented in a symposium at the annual meeting of NASPSPA, Monterey, CA, 1981 (cf. Reference Note 1).
Requests for reprints should be sent to either W.J. Rejeski, Department of Physical Education, Box 7234, Reynolda Station, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, or L.R. Brawley, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada.