ATTRIBUTION THEORY

-the theory of how people explain behavior,

both their own, and others.

Types of Attributions

1. Internal vs. External





2. Stable vs. Unstable





3. Global vs. Specific



Theory of Correspondent Inferences

Normal/Socially desirable behavior­>external

Unexpected/undesirable behavior­> internal



Kelley's (1967; 1971) Attribution Theory

Factors: consistency



distinctiveness

consensus

Testing Jones & Davis' theory:

How?

Manipulate 1 or more of the causes of correspondent inferences; Measure whether correspondent inferences are made.

Design?

















Results:

How do we use these attributions?

1. Fundamental Attribution Error



Original Study: Ross, Amabile, Steinmetz, 1977

Design: Subjects told they

are participating in game show as Questionnner/Contestant

-

-in reality, all are contestants

IV:

DV:













Is FAE perceptual?









Is FAE learned?

Time

Culture

Self-awareness



2. Actor-Observer Bias















3. Self-serving bias















4. Depressive Attributional style









How fundamental are these attribution errors?

1. FAE/Actor-Observer may result in

a. prejudice/"ultimate attribution error"













b. Blaming the victim















2. Self-serving bias/Optimism may result in

a. Unrealistic optimism









b.Illusions of invulnerability













c. Self-Handicapping

"Your score is one of the best I've ever seen"

IV:

Results:

Why?

Definition:









Attribution errors as "adaptive"?

1. Depressive attributional style may result in depressive realism









2. Denial of personal discrimination as healthy?

Denial=unstable, specific attributions









Attribution errors as "maladaptive"

1. Long term health consquences





2. False uniqueness







3. False consensus.