An investigation into a relationship between locus of control and attribution theory in the field of consumer decision-making : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

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Massey University
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The present investigation examines a relationship between Rotter°s (1966) Locus of Control Theory and Kelley°s (1967) Attribution Theory in the field of Consumer Decision-Making. The main hypothesis tested whether there was a difference in the probability of choosing in favour of a product with consensus information between individuals who have a belief in external control and individuals who believe in internal control. Secondary hypotheses were also investigated to detail other aspects of this relationship. Firstly, it was suggested that with externally and internally controlled Individuals, the probabilities of choosing in favour of consensus and distinctiveness information will differ. Secondly, that the probability of choosing in favour of personal control, and non-personal control information will differ for externals and internals. Finally it was suggested that the probability that externals and internals will have their responses rated as external or internal respectively, will be greater than the reverse. The main hypothesis was not substantiated, however there was a strong trend in the predicted direction, suggesting the value of future research. Some support was found for the secondary hypothese. Results are discussed in light of social learning and attribution theories and suggestions for future research offered.
Consumers, Attribution, Social psychology