Attribution Essay

Topics: Attribution theory, Causality, Theory Pages: 4 (1134 words) Published: May 6, 2011
Evaluate any one theory of attribution. How well does this theory explain how humans assign cause to behaviour?
Attribution theory analyses how causes of behavior are evaluated; including own and others behaviors. The theory of attribution was introduced in a book called “The psychology of interpersonal relations” by Heider (1958), and soon after investigated by various others. Weiner (1974) proposed a theory of achievement motivation. This essay will therefore evaluate how well Weiner’s (1974) theory of attribution explains how humans assign cause to behavior. There are two types of attributions which are internal and external. In internal attributions the cause for behavior is directed within an individual; such as traits, characteristics, personality and intelligence. For example; in a successful scenario one will related this to their own skills. However, in external attributions causes for behavior are related outside the personal; such as difficulty of tasks, chance, or luck. For example; if one fails at something situational factors will be blamed instead of the self. Weiner’s (1974) ideas are based on self-attribution. Attributions are categorized into three dimensions of causity; these are locus of control, stability and controllability. The locus of control is based on personal beliefs in reference to the magnitude to which actions conclude the outcomes; these are dependent on one of two poles which are either internal or external. The second is stability which determines whether causes change and are affected over time or not. The final is controllability which determines causes which can be controlled from ones that cannot be controlled, such as skill versus luck. Wieners (1974) theory indicates a positive relationship between both self-concept and achievement; it has therefore been enforced in law, clinical psychology, and education. For example in education; students with both higher self-esteem and achievement will attribute this to internal...
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