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 ?
As such, this study represents the first empirical examination of whistle-blowing using attribution theory (Weiner, 1986, 1995, 2006).
These contentions were based on Attribution theory in speculating that emergency situations would provide an 'external reason' for verbal abuse to be more acceptable, less upsetting, and less amenable to assertive intervention.
The previous work done in the areas of attribution theory and explanatory style have provided the foundation for the four dimensions of explanatory style used in this research: internality (internal/external), stability (stable/unstable), globality (global/specific), and controllability (controllable/uncontrollable).
It is imperative that mental health counselors acquire an awareness of attribution theory, the research that supports it, and the nature of fundamental errors, in order to control for bias.
According to attribution theory, the cause that an individual decides upon can take one of four types: ability, effort, task difficulty, or luck (Weiner, 1980, 1984, 1990).
Attribution Theory and self-blame most clearly identifies internal and external causes (Major et al.
The theory of Charismatic Leadership, an extension of the Attribution Theory, stated that "followers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary leadership abilities when they observe certain behaviors" in their chosen leaders.
One theoretical framework that enables us to do that is attribution theory.
These findings supported the attribution theory in its assumptions that externalization did not facilitate learning, help-seeking, or increased persistence (Rotter, 1966).
The foundational assumption of attribution theory is that people engage in cognitive activity, developing explanations for events (Kelley, 1967).
This study based on theories like procedural justice theory, attribution theory, naive realism cognitive theory, and previous studies on mediation strategies to form hypotheses for future research.
This theory has also been influenced by Seligman's theory of learned helplessness and attribution theory (Peterson, Maier, & Seligman, 1993) as well as the concept of self-talk (Meichenbaum, 1995).