Attribution Theory

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Submitted By castillonchris
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ATTRIBUTION THEORY (Attribution - to explain by indicating a cause)
ATTRIBUTION THEORY - motivational theory looking at how the average person constructs the meaning of an event based on his /her motives to find a cause and his/her knowledge of the environment. Att. Theory basically looks at how people make sense of their world; what cause and effect inferences they make about the behaviors of others and of themselves. Heider states that there is a strong need in individuals to understand transient events by attributing them to the actor's disposition or to stable characteristics of the environment.
The purpose behind making attributions is to achieve COGNITIVE CONTROL over one's environment by explaining and understanding the causes behind behaviors and environmental occurrences. Making attributions gives order and predictability to our lives; helps us to cope. Imagine what it would be like if you felt that you had no control over the world. (talk about later)
When you make attributions you analyze the situation by making inferences (going beyond the information given) about the dispositions of others and yourself as well as inferences about the environment and how it may be causing a person to behave. Two basic kinds of attributions made: INTERNAL and EXTERNAL
INTERNAL - dispositional
EXTERNAL - situational Consequences of making inferences: 1) gives order and predictability; 2) inferences lead to behavior - you will or will not behave in certain ways toward the actor based on your inferences and you will form expectations as to how the actor will behave.
The meaning of a behavior depends on the cause to which it is attributed (e.g. bystander studies - if we don't perceive the situation is caused by an emergency then we don't act like it is an emergency). INACCURACIES in attribution: 1)…...

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