College of Health Sciences & Human Performance

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lois S. Hale, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Steven J. Aicinena, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia R. Sherblom, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of performance success, skill level, and gender on the causal attributions made by recreational golfers. Skill level was determined by handicap, and performance success was the golfer’s estimation of whether the particular round of golf was successful or unsuccessful. It was hypothesized that the causal attributions that recreational golfers made would be more internal, stable, and personally controllable after a successful performance than after an unsuccessful performance. Male and female golfers (N=101), from age 19 to 73, with an average age of 39, playing recreationally completed the Causal Dimension Scale-ll after completing a nine or eighteen hole round. Two-way analyses of variance (gender by performance success) revealed that attributions made for successful performances were perceived as significantly more personally controllable than unsuccessful performances regardless of gender. Male golfers attributed their performance to less externally controllable reasons than females regardless of performance success. The stability of attributions made depended upon both gender and performance success. Male attributions for successful performance were significantly more stable than male attributions for unsuccessful performance, and female attributions for unsuccessful performance were significantly more stable than male attributions for unsuccessful performance. Males with medium handicaps made attributions that were more internal than those with high handicaps and also attributed their performance to factors less controllable by others than did either the high or low handicap groups.


GV561.M34 2004



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