Affective Consequences of Winning and Losing: An Attributional Analysis

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 The University of Iowa
  • 2 Canberra College of Advanced Education
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Previous research in academic achievement settings has indicated that causal attributions for success and failure outcomes are important determinants of affective reactions to those outcomes. This study examined the relationships between the dimensions underlying causal attributions (termed causal dimensions) and affective reactions to performance outcomes in table tennis. Attribution processes were found to be important determinants of affective reactions, particularly for winners. In contrast to previous findings, the locus of causality dimension was not found to be an important determinant of affect. Instead, the controllability dimension appeared to be the most influential causal dimension. The implications of these findings for research on attribution-affect relationships are discussed.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the National Sport Psychology Conference, Canberra, Australia, February 1983. Reprint requests should be addressed to Edward McAuley, Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration, College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.

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