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Abstract

Within the special events literature limited research exists exploring the impacts that result from special event visitation. No studies exist that examine special event attendees’ perception of their contribution to impacts. This needed perspective is valuable because management may want to develop communication material to minimize the negative outcomes of the festival and maximize the benefits. Attribution theory was used as the theoretical framework to better understand festival visitors’ perceptions of their own contribution to impacts (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Tetlock, 1981). During a two-week period in July 2005, self-administered surveys were distributed to Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival visitors in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Two questions were designed to better understand visitors’ perceptions of their own impacts. In total 307 visitors returned a completed survey resulting in a 53% response rate. Simple regression was used to examine the relationship between the direction of the impact (positive or negative) and visitors’ perceptions of their contribution to the impact item. The results indicated a positive significant relationship between direction of the impact and perception of contribution to impact item for each of the 8 impact items included in this study. Specifically, the more positively visitors rated an item the more they felt they contributed to an impact item. The results of this study provide support for the existence of self-serving biases in visitors’ attributions.

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VISITOR'S PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR OWN IMPACTS AT A SPECIAL EVENT

Within the special events literature limited research exists exploring the impacts that result from special event visitation. No studies exist that examine special event attendees’ perception of their contribution to impacts. This needed perspective is valuable because management may want to develop communication material to minimize the negative outcomes of the festival and maximize the benefits. Attribution theory was used as the theoretical framework to better understand festival visitors’ perceptions of their own contribution to impacts (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Tetlock, 1981). During a two-week period in July 2005, self-administered surveys were distributed to Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival visitors in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Two questions were designed to better understand visitors’ perceptions of their own impacts. In total 307 visitors returned a completed survey resulting in a 53% response rate. Simple regression was used to examine the relationship between the direction of the impact (positive or negative) and visitors’ perceptions of their contribution to the impact item. The results indicated a positive significant relationship between direction of the impact and perception of contribution to impact item for each of the 8 impact items included in this study. Specifically, the more positively visitors rated an item the more they felt they contributed to an impact item. The results of this study provide support for the existence of self-serving biases in visitors’ attributions.