Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 287–299 | Cite as

The attributional Style Questionnaire

  • Christopher Peterson
  • Amy Semmel
  • Carl von Baeyer
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
  • Gerald I. Metalsky
  • Martin E. P. Seligman


Of current interest are the causal attributions offered by depressives for the good and bad events in their lives. One important attributional account of depression is the reformulated learned helplessness model, which proposes that depressive symptoms are associated with an attributional style in which uncontrollable bad events are attributed to internal (versus external), stable (versus unstable), and global (versus specific) causes. We describe the Attributional Style Questionnaire, which measures individual differences in the use of these attributional dimensions. We report means, reliabilities, intercorrelations, and test-retest stabilities for a sample of 130 undergraduates. Evidence for the questionnaire's validity is discussed. The Attributional Style Questionnaire promises to be a reliable and valid instrument.


Depression Depressive Symptom Individual Difference Cognitive Psychology Current Interest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Peterson
    • 1
  • Amy Semmel
    • 1
  • Carl von Baeyer
    • 2
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
    • 3
  • Gerald I. Metalsky
    • 3
  • Martin E. P. Seligman
    • 4
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaUSA
  2. 2.University of SaskatchewanCanada
  3. 3.State University of New YorkStony BrookUSA
  4. 4.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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