Attributional Style Questionnaire

Author: Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.

WHAT THE QUESTIONNAIRE MEASURES

The ASQ is a self-report instrument that yields scores for explanatory style for bad events and for good events using three causal dimensions: internal versus external, stable versus unstable, and global versus specific causes. The ASQ presents 12 hypothetical events, half good and half bad, and the test-taker is asked to write down the one major cause of each event and then rate the cause along a 7-point continuum for each of the three causal dimensions. There is evidence that the ASQ is a predictor of depression, physical health, and achievement in various domains (in academics, work, and sports). The ASQ takes an average of about 20 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit.

KEY REFERENCES
  1. Attributional Style Research in Adults webpage
  2. Buchanan, G. and Seligman, M.E.P. (Eds.). (1995). Explanatory Style. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.
  3. Peterson, C. (1988). Explanatory style as a risk factor for illness. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 12, 117-130.
  4. Peterson, C., Semmel, A., von Baeyer, C., Abramson, L. T., Metalsky, G. I., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1982). The Attributional Style Questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6, 287-300.
  5. Seligman, M.E.P., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Thornton, N., and Thornton, K.M. (1990). Explanatory style as a mechanism of disappointing athletic performance. Psychological Science, 1, 143-146.
  6. Sweeney, P.D., Anderson, K, & Bailey, S. (1986). Attributional style in depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 974-991.
E-MAIL CONTACT INFORMATION

Dr. Martin Seligman's administrative assistant: SeligmanInfo@psych.upenn.edu

INFORMATION ON THE WEB

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