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Responsibility judgements have important consequences in human society. Previous research focused on how someone's responsibility determines the outcome they deserve, for example, whether they are rewarded or punished. Here, we investigate the opposite link: How outcome ownership influences responsibility attributions in a social context. Participants in a group of three perform a majority vote decision-making task between gambles that can lead to a reward or no reward. Only one group member receives the outcome and participants evaluate their and the other players' responsibility for the obtained outcome. Two hypotheses are tested: 1) Whether outcome ownership increases responsibility attributions even when the control over an outcome is similar. 2) Whether people's tendency to attribute higher responsibility for positive vs negative outcomes will be stronger for players who received the outcome. The findings of this study may help reveal how credit attributions can be biased toward particular individuals who receive outcomes as a result of collective work.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Res

Publication Date





Responsibility attribution, group decisions., other-serving bias, outcome ownership, outcome valence, self-serving bias