Week 3 - Exercise 3.1 to 3.8
3.1) A kicker on a football team misses his third field goal attempt in a row. Following the game he meets with his
coach and tries to explain his poor performance. He concludes that he just cannot kick in this stadium. The coach
may have his own explanations for his kicker’s poor performance. For example, he suggests that the kicker is
more interested in partying rather than practicing, that he lacks sufficient commitment; he lacks mental
toughness, etc. What causal ascriptions do the player and the coach make to arrive at their interpretations? Is the
player likely to be prepared for his next game in this stadium or any other stadium?
Attributions are made in very certain circumstances, for example when an unusual event grabs our attention; when
events have personal consequences, for example explanations for success or failure; when people behave in unexpected and
when others ask us for our explanations of events. The kicker is using external attribution factors to arrive at his
interpretations of himself. External attribution factors are outside of the individual, for example, situational or environmental
factors. These factors assign the cases of behaviour to situational demands and environmental restraints; for example, the
basketball player cannot kick in this stadium.
The coach, however, is using internal attribution factors. These factors refer to the causes of behaviour that are personal
dispositions, traits, abilities, and feelings, for example, in the above question the coach suggests that the kicker is more
interested in partying than practicing.
Maybe the kicker’s head wasn’t totally in the game this time around, and next time, he may want to prove to the coach
that he is focused on practicing and he can do better. According to the course manual, losing is devastating to some athletes
and coaches and drives many of them to dedicate their lives towards future success or to quit and abandon their dreams
3.2) Assume that a coach from Canada was hired to coach the national basketball team of Japan. Do you think the
way s/he perceives people would reflect his/her coaching in Japan? In what ways?
In Japan, the internal bias associated with fundamental attributions error – when individuals underestimate the
importance of situational influences, and overestimate the importance of internal factors in interpreting other people’s
behaviour – is much less common than in Western societies. North American societies are much busier focusing on
individuality, how one player does regardless of, or in comparison to other players, while Asian societies focus on a
collective social orientation, which emphasize situational explanations for someone’s action, rather than dispositional
If a coach from Canada were hired to coach the national basketball team of Japan, it would be interesting. The coach
would try and incorporate many techniques that would normally work in North American culture, for example, putting two
players against each other and wait for one to lose then blame him/her, while a Japanese coach would use the same technique
of putting the two players against each other, but would come up with reasons as to why the technique didn’t work using both
players, collectively rather than individually.
3.3) What are some of the positive an