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Dispositional Attributions Require the Joint Application of the Methods of Difference and Agreement.

Authors
  • van Overwalle, Frank1
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1997
Volume
23
Issue
9
Pages
974–980
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167297239007
PMID: 29506444
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Denis J. Hilton, Richard H. Smith, and Sung Hee Kim proposed in 1995 that making dispositional inferences requires the use of John Stuart Mill's method of agreement. However, their data were based on "incomplete"information that may have obscured the use of Mill's method of difference. Consistent with this suspicion, a study with "complete" information revealed the joint operation of both Mill's methods. Dispositions to the actor required not only low distinctiveness but also low consensus, whereas dispositions to the stimulus required not only high consensus but also high distinctiveness. In contrast, causal explanations to the person, stimulus, or occasion were determined by the method of difference only.

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