Using Confluence Theory to Make Unusual Predictions about Desire, Expectation, and Intention Attributions

Stephen Rice, David Trafimow, Rian Mehta


The intention attribution literature suggests that a success or a failure by a skilled person will result in a large difference in the intentions others will attribute to that person, but that this effect will be attenuated dramatically if the person is unskilled. The received literature is less clear about what to predict for desire attributions or expectation attributions. Based on a recent theory, the confluence theory (Trafimow, 2009), we predicted very little attenuation for desire attributions and only moderate attenuation for expectation attributions. These findings were confirmed across six experiments. Together, the experiments suggest an attenuation continuum where the attenuation effect increases as attributions pertain to variables more proximal to actual behavior.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Stephen Rice, David Trafimow, Rian Mehta

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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