This intriguing new work provides a careful examination of how judgments of ourselves and others relate to problems and, in so doing, yields valuable insight into human interactions and motivational processes. Laying out a general theory of social motivation, the author incorporates a number of well-researched areas in social psychology and motivation to elucidate basic principles that guide human conduct across culture and time.
Chapters reveal how responsibility inferences are reached, the manner in which such judgments affect emotions, and the role that "cold" judgments of responsibility versus "hot" feelings, such as anger, play in producing both positive and negative behaviors.
The author demonstrates that the ways others are perceived influence the behaviors directed toward them, showing how attributions of personal causality are followed by judgments of responsibility. These inferences then give rise to other-directed emotions such as anger and sympathy which, in turn, generate antisocial and prosocial actions.
Providing a conceptual system that permits readers a deeper understanding of motivational processes and suggests guidelines for more effective interventions, this book is insightful reading for a wide range of scholars.
"This book is a major achievement that extends Weiner's already impressive attribution theory of motivation in new directions. With pristine clarity it demonstrates how judgment of responsibility can be used to generalize theoretical principles derived from the study of achievement evaluation to a wide variety of behaviors. The result is a comprehensive theory of social conduct that is essential reading for anyone interested in human behavior." --Frank D. Fincham, Ph.D., FBPsS, University of Wales, Cardiff
"Professor Weiner has made a bold attempt to present a scientific analysis of the issues involved in assigning responsibility and blame. In contrast with traditional solutions, he argues that it is not blame but emotion (anger or sympathy) that mediates subsequent social behavior. Weiner's clear thinking and relevant empirical data bring a fresh and interesting perspective to highly significant and perennially debated social and moral issues." --Carroll E. Izard, Ph.D., Unidel Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware
"...we pronounce the book good, judge it innocent of poor scholarship, and sentence it to having a long impact on research and theory on interpersonal judgment....this book is a significant read with enormous strengths and a provocative, testable point of view. It presents an important perspective that adds emotional and moral elements into our more cognitive models for judgments of others....accessible to a broad audience....the text is appropriate both for undergraduates and for graduate students and established academics tilling the fields of attribution processes. The book can serve as a wonderful teaching tool as the reader completes studies, gets personally involved, and therefore easily grasps the ideas and findings." --Kathryn C. Oleson and Robert M. Arkin, Contemporary Psychology