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Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia

On-line version ISSN 1808-4281


DAMASCENO, Raissa; FRANCO, Víthor Rosa; SARMET, Mauricio Miranda  and  IGLESIAS, Fabio. Social hierarchy and causal attribution in self and other-evaluation of excuses. Estud. pesqui. psicol. [online]. 2016, vol.16, n.2, pp. 401-413. ISSN 1808-4281.

In social contexts, when a fail occurs, people usually use different justifications. This raises a question that concerns how much acceptable is this excuse, depending on its cause (external, internal controllable or internal uncontrollable) and the social status of those who use it. The present research investigated the effects of excuses given by people from different hierarchy levels considering three different targets - self and others (friends and other people). Three hundred participants judged how acceptable three excuses were in scenarios in which a person (either a teacher or a student) is coming late to an appointment. Results supported Weiner´s attributional model (2006), by showing that excuses with external causes were regarded as more acceptable than those with uncontrollable internal causes, followed by controllable internal ones. Also, excuses given by professors were less accepted. When comparing different evaluations, a false uniqueness bias was confirmed, as participants judged themselves as more benevolent than others. Applications for educational context are discussed, especially for impression management in clearly defined hierarchical settings.

Keywords : Excuse; cause; hierarchy; judgments; false uniqueness.

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