attribution theory


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attribution theory

a collection of theories, originating in the work of F. Heider (The Psychology ofInterpersonal Relations, 1958), which seek to explain how people attribute causes to others’ and their own behaviour.

A distinction is made between internal or dispositional causes, located within the individual, e.g. ‘she failed the exam because she is lazy’, and external or situational causes, e.g. ‘he was late for work because of the traffic jam’. Attributional errors are made when we favour dispositional over situational explanations (the fundamental attribution error). We are also more likely, with regard to our own behaviour, to make a dispositional attribution for success and a situational attribution for failure (the self-serving bias). Attribution theory provides a useful framework for the analysis of everyday explanations of social issues such as unemployment, criminality, and health and illness-related behaviours.

References in periodicals archive ?
In the achievement domain of attribution theory, the main emphasis is on the way a person judges the causes of success and failure, in brief achievement outcomes and their effects on future achievement behavior (Weiner 1974).
Based on attribution theory, one can argue that an offense committed by an individual with a bad reputation may be internally attributed.
In the remaining five chapters, a large-scale example of discursive work in psychology is developed around the interpenetrating study of the discursive construction of remembering with a reworking in discursive terms of attribution theory, so-called.
Attribution theory has also been applied to support multifocused loyalty transfer (Yim et al.
Chapter 3, 'Interpersonal Perception and Interaction', provides a complex but clear discussion of attribution theory and transactional analysis.
The impact of these cognitive disparities on both micro (the supervisor-subordinate relationship) and macro (overall human resource management) issues can be effectively analyzed within the theoretical framework of attribution theory.
Research in attribution theory explores the intricate process that we go through in order to identify the causes for our behaviors, the behaviors of others, and for various life events.
Attribution theory predicts, however, that the supervisor will fall prey to the Fundamental Attribution Error and attribute the employee's performance to dispositional factors.
This is the popularity of the construct that attribution theory is still an active field of inquiry (Weiner, 2008).
internal/external) by utilizing attribution theory as a mediating mechanism for Peripheral and Embedded CSR which may lead to important organizational outcomes.
How the color of instructional feedback comes to influence interpersonal perceptions in achievement contexts may be explained by attribution theory, which accounts for the process by which people make causal explanations to observed stimuli (Heider, 1958).
On the other hand, action descriptions are of primary interest from the viewpoint of attribution theory.