n South African Journal of Higher Education - Causal attribution : actor-observer bias in academic achievement among students at an institution of higher learning

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The study explores the attribution styles of in-group and out-group members. Eighty-four (42 female and 42 male) undergraduate students were randomly selected from the Faculty of Education at an institution of higher learning in Zimbabwe. A questionnaire was used to capture the opinions of the participants. The data was analysed using the chi-square. The results showed that students attribute the success of in-group members to internal factors and failure to external factors. The success and failure of out-group members were attributed to external and internal factors respectively. Gender and age differences moderate in-group and out-group reasons for both success and failure. The study recommends further research to establish the role of culture in attribution among students at institutions of higher learning.

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