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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the literature on causal attributions in adulthood. The authors first provide a brief history of the research on causal attributions from the social psychological literature and illustrate how a lifespan developmental approach extends our understanding of causal attributions. The authors then outline the age differences in attributions that emerge in performance and social contexts and discuss the two mechanisms that have been proposed to account for these age differences: cognitive resource limitations and social knowledge differences. Finally, the authors conclude with suggestions for future directions in the field.

Keywords: causal attributions, aging, cognitive resources, social beliefs, emotion and motivation, social cognition, social judgments

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