Attribution Theory

Attribution theory deals with how the social perceiver uses information to arrive at causal explanations for events. It examines what information is gathered and how it is combined to form a causal judgment” (Fiske & Taylor, 1991)

Attribution refers to how we infer the causes of behaviors and events.

Attribution theory explains how an individual interpret or find or explain the reason or cause for the behaviour of others or himself.

The major contributors for Attribution theory are Fritz Heider and H.H.Kelly. the states that human mind will observe the behaviour of own and others and tries to relate the reason or the cause for such behaviour.

The attribution i.e.. The reason found by the individual is the outcome of their perception towards the behaviour. The Theory of attribution developed by Kelly states that the behaviour can be examined on the basis of Internal and external Attributes.

Factors influencing internal and external attributions.

  • Distinctiveness — consistency of a person’s behavior across situations.

How the person behaves in different situations

Same manner – High Distinctiveness

Different manner—– Low Distinctiveness

  • Consensus — likelihood of others responding in a similar way.

How the other persons behave in this situation

Same manner – High Consensus    External Factor

Different manner—– Low Consensus    Internal Factor

  • Consistency — whether an individual responds the same way across time.
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