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Analysis of Attribution Theory - Term Paper Example

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The author examines the attribution theory which is a tool for understanding human behaviors and thoughts and to deduce how individuals interpret the events that they encounter. Attribution theory has proved to be a useful conceptual framework for the study of motivation in educational contexts.   …
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Analysis of Attribution Theory
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Download file to see previous pages An example of how attribution theory can be applied in our daily lives could be our reaction to, say, having a good social circle. An individual who is a loner and has no friends to talk to will always be found complaining about how the world is so cruel and unjust. This is attributing an external factor to the event. However, a person who is the life of a party and is acquainted with a lot of people will be found claiming that it is so because of his being so attractive and smart. As obvious, this case refers to an internal factor or the factor which is within a person.
There are many factors which are related to attribution. The determination of the causes depends on three things (Kelly, 1967). Distinctiveness, the first one, tells whether the person's actions are distinct and different from other situations. The second is consensus, which tells whether other people behave in the same way to the same situation. The third factor is consistency, which finds out whether the individual behaves the same way consistently to the same situation. The theory predicts that whenever there is high distinctiveness, the causes of the behavior are external and with low distinctiveness, the factors are internal. For consensus, it is an external factor whenever there is a high consensus and an internal factor when the consensus is low. High consistency indicates an internal factor while low consistency depicts an external factor.
In fact, when we apply attribution theory, there are two types of errors which can result in distorted attributions. One is the fundamental attribution error and the other is self-serving bias. Fundamental attribution error: It occurs when people overestimate the effects of internal factors while underestimating the effects of external factors when judging the behavior of others (Martinko, 1995.) It is when the actions of people are attributed to their traits and personality rather than the external influence that may have led them to such an action.    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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