Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error

Video-recorded interaction. The Client took part in a video-recording, the second
stimulus. The video-recorded interaction was of about 6 minutes in length. This scripted
interaction (Appendix B) was presented as a part of a therapy session to participants. The content
of the video involved the Client threatening to harm others, the therapist assessing intent, asking
for a verbal contract, and the Client subsequently yelling at the therapist and expressing that she
feels that the therapist does not care for her. This interaction was loosely based on experiences
the therapist has had with clients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and to that
extent, though it was scripted, the video recorded interaction carried external validity.
Clinical Attribution Scale (CAS,; Chen, 1995). The Clinical Attribution Scale is an 18-
item scale on a scale from Strongly agree - 1 to Strongly disagree - 5 that assesses levels of
dispositional versus situational attributions. It is specifically intended to be used with mental
health practitioners to measure the types of attributions they make with regard to a particular
client. The CAS showed adequate reliability (a =.87) with a sample of 83 individuals and also
evidenced excellent inter-rater reliability (r = .96) during its validation (Chen, 1995). Ten of the
18 items are dispositional in nature and 8 are situational. The 8 situational items are reverse
scored. Thus, the higher a total score, the more a person displays a situational attribution and
conversely, the lower the score, the more a person shows a dispositional attribution.
Manipulation checks (Appendix C). Four questions were asked to assess whether
participants were actually aware of which version of the independent variables with which they
were presented. One question assessed whether the participant experienced any technical
difficulties associated with the presentation of the video recording.


Schmalz, Jonathan. Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103389/. Accessed December 3, 2016.