Attribution Essay

335 Words2 Pages
* Discuss possible explanations for the behavior using attribution theory. In social psychology, attribution is the process of inferring the causes of events or behaviors (Meyers, 2010). In real life, attribution is something we all do every day, usually without any awareness of the underlying processes and biases that lead to our inferences. For example, over the course of a typical day you probably make numerous attributions about your own behavior as well as that of the people around you. Types of Attribution * Interpersonal Attribution: When telling a story to a group of friends or acquaintances, you are likely to tell the story in a way that places you in the best possible light. * Predictive Attribution: We also tend to attribute things in ways that allow us to make future predictions. If your car was vandalized, you might attribute the crime to the fact that you parked in a particular parking garage. As a result, you will avoid that parking garage in the future in order to avoid further vandalism. * Explanatory Attribution: We us explanatory attributions to help us make sense of the world around us. Some people have an optimistic explanatory style, while others tend to be more pessimistic. People with an optimistic style attribute positive events to stable, internal and global causes and negative events to unstable, external and specific causes. Those with a pessimistic style attribute negative events to internal, stable and global causes and positive events to external, stable and specific causes. As we seek to explain the reasons and causes for behaviors, we are prone to falling victim to a number of cognitive biases and errors. Our perceptions of events are often distorted by our past experiences, our expectations and our own needs. A few of the most common types of errors in attribution include: References: Myers, D. G. (2010).

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