Date of Award

Spring 1983

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The paper examines, through a selective review of literature, the factors involved in the high degree of symptom misattribution and inappropriate responses to symptoms which have been reported in survivors of myocardial infarction and persons with a history of angina pectoris. A hypothetical model of determinants involved in the decision to seek medical help is proposed based on principles drawn from Attribution Theory. The model is viewed within a self-care framework. It is suggested that increased understanding of the variables involved in inappropriate reporting may aid in development of attribution assessment tools and strategies which influence attribution and response to a greater degree than education alone. Self-deception, as motivation for perceived control, is seen as a key determinant in prolonging decision delay. Applications and implications of the model are well as some specific strategies to influence attributions.