In social psychology, attribution is the process by which individuals explain the causes of behavior and events. Attribution theory is the study of various models that attempt to explain those processes.
The Attribution Theory explains the ways in which we give reasons, for behaviors that we observe, in real life.
In other words,
it's how we explain the reasons for our own behaviors,
as well as the behaviors of other people.
There are TWO types of Attribution:
1. Internal attribution
2. External attribution
INTERNAL attribution is where we believe that the reason for a behavior was internal.
It's where we believe that a person did something, because of a reason that had to do with THEMSELVES.
If we see someone cutting in line, at a movie theater,
an INTERNAL attribution would be where we think the person cut in line...
because they are SELFISH.
Because they are RUDE.
Because they are INCONSIDERATE.
Because they are a BAD PERSON.
These attributions are all INTERNAL,
They explain a behavior, based on a person's personality.
EXTERNAL attribution is where we explain a behavior with something SITUATIONAL.
Something that has very little to do with someone's personality.
if we see someone cutting in line, at a movie theater,
an EXTERNAL attribution would be where we think the person cut in line...
because they were UNAWARE that there was a line.
Or because they were PART OF THE GROUP that was already in front of the line.
These explanations are SITUATIONAL, you see?
They don't explain the behavior, based on a person's personality.
The Attribution Theory has four main points:
1. When we explain someone else's behavior, we are more likely to make an INTERNAL attribution.
2. When we explain our own behavior, we are more likely to make an EXTERNAL attribution.
3. We are more likely to explain our FAILURES, with EXTERNAL attributions.
4. We are more likely to explain our SUCCESSES, with INTERNAL attributions.
So, once again,
Attribution Theory simply talks about the ways in which we explain behaviors, that we see, in
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