If a worker performed well on only one job back in

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Unformatted text preview: well as several subsequent jobs is perceived as having real ability. When a behaviour is highly distinctive, in that it occurs in only one situation, we are likely to assume that some aspect of the situation caused the behaviour. If the only student-oriented behaviour that we observe is generous office hours, we assume that they are dictated by department policy. If a worker performed well on only one job, back in 1985, we suspect that his uncle owns the company! Attribution in Action Frequently, observers of real life behaviour have information at hand about consistency, consensus, and distinctiveness. Let us take an example that shows how the observer puts such information together in forming attributions. At the same time, the example will serve to review the previous discussion. Imagine that Smith, Jones, and Kelley are employees who work in separate firms. Each is absent from work today, and a manager must develop an attribution about the cause in order to decide which personnel action is warranted. ■ ■ ■ Smith—Smith is absent a lot, his co-workers are seldom absent, and he was a...
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