Attribution Theory 1

Better Essays
Attribution Theory
Definition
The process by which persons interpret and pinpoint causes for their own personal and other’s behaviour is the theory of attribution.1 In this motivational theory, a person always finds a way to explain things, he make inferences on why things or events occur. After explaining the events a person then predicts future events through his inferences. He wants to understand the reasons or causes behind behaviour of people and why events happen. It was first proposed by Fritz Heider in 1958 and further developed by Harold Kelly and Bernard Weiner.
Theories
Internal vs. External Attributions
Every person observe and analyze things differently thus having different ways of explaining things. The attribution theory proposes that when people observe and analyze things they try to find out whether it is caused internally or externally.2 Attribution is a three-stage process: (1) Observation of an individual behaviour, (2) Determination whether the behaviour is intentional and (3) Attribution of the observed behaviour to internal or external factors.3 Those that are believed that can be personally controlled are called internal attributions while those believed to be caused by outside forces are external attributions.2 Example of internal attributions are ability, personality, mood, efforts, attitudes or disposition while external attributions are task, other people and luck.4 Following is an example of an application of this theory is when an employee failed to perform in a given task, a manager tries to explain why this thing happened. He may attribute this failure to poor efforts made by his subordinate (internal attribute) or he may consider that the given task maybe be too difficult for his employee (external attribute).
Consistency, Distinctiveness and Consensus
On the other hand, when making a determination between internal and external causes of behaviour, three factors must be considered: (1) consistency, (2) distinctiveness and



References: 1. Newstrom, John W. And Keith Davis. 2002. Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work(11th Edition). The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 2. Robbins, Stephen P. 2000. Organizational Behavior, International Edition, Pearson Educatioon Asia Pte Ltd. 3. Simmering, Marcia J. Attribution Theory. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/A-Bud/Attribution-Theory.html Date Accessed: July 7, 2011 4. Attribution (psychology). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_theory Date Accessed: July 7, 2011

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    attribution theory

    • 4901 Words
    • 22 Pages

    Attribution (psychology) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 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.[1] Psychological research into attribution began with the work of Fritz Heider in the early part of the 20th century, subsequently developed by others such as Harold Kelley and Bernard Weiner. Contents 1 Background…

    • 4901 Words
    • 22 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Attribution Theory

    • 961 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Exam Question #1: Attribution Theory As discussed earlier in the text, motivation is the desire that an individual develops to fuel a drive for success. Individuals may find motivation in the form of external rewards (extrinsic motivation), or simply through internal gratification (intrinsic motivation), knowing that they are exhibiting a great deal of effort in a given activity. When an athlete experiences success or failure they are likely to attribute those successes or failures to different…

    • 961 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Attribution Theory

    • 257 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Attribution Theory (Wiener’s Belief Systems) * Attribution theory assumes that people try to determine why people do what they do, that is, interpret causes to an event or behavior. (Att. Theory basically looks at how people make sense of their world; what cause and effect inferences they make about the behaviors of others and of themselves.) * Attribution theory is concerned with how and why ordinary people explain events as they do. (Theories of attribution claim we aim to attribute behavior…

    • 257 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Attribution Theory

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Attribution Theory of Leadership Attribution theory was a psychological theory first proposed by Fritz Heider in 1958 and extended by Harold Kelley in 1967. Terence R. Mitchell first introduced attribution theory as a leadership theory in 1979(Martinko, 1995). This theory says that we observe the behavior of others and then attribute cause on it. It can be used in two sides of the leadership area. First, it can be used in attribute leadership qualities. Which is that followers’ judgment…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Attribution Theories

    • 878 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Application of Theories Vignette #2 Social Cognition – Psych 6201-2 Victoria Dominguez December 28, 2013 Dr. Brian Uldall The two attributions theories I have chosen for this paper are Heider’s “Naive Psychology Theory” And Kelley’s “Covariation Model.” The vignette I chosen is number two, James, 35-year-old African-American male. Heider’s Attribution Theory: The Naive Psychology of Traits. Heider founded the study of how ordinary people think about each other. In 1958…

    • 878 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Attribution theory

    • 1164 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Discuss the types of attribution someone makes when they appraise a person’s behaviour. How may bias occur in their reasoning particularly if they have a very different background to the person they observe? Attribution theory focuses on ways in which we gather and process information in order to come up with judgements and explanations for people’s behaviours and personalities or as explained by Fiske & Taylor (1991) “how the social perceiver uses information to arrive at casual explanations for…

    • 1164 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Attribution Theory Definition Attribution theory is concerned with how people interpret events and relate them to their thinking and behavior. It's a cognitive perception which affects their motivation. This theory was first proposed in a book called, The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations by Fritz Heider in 1958. According to Heider, men behave as amateur scientists in social situations. He also said that, we generally explain behavior in two ways; either we attribute the behavior to a person…

    • 1057 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The attribution-helplessness theory is a newer version of the learned helplessness theory which is the perception that a person has no control over things in their lives (Comer, 2015). According to the attribution helplessness theory, when individuals look at events as being beyond their control, they often question themselves as to why the event may have occurred (Comer, 2015). These individuals may also perceive the reason why certain things happen is because of something they did. The attribution-helplessness…

    • 301 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Deindividuation and Attribution Theory Southern Illinois University Carbondale Deindividuation and Attribution Theory Theory One of social psychology theories that describe human behaviors is attribution theory. Attribution theory is the theory of how individuals explain others’ behaviors (Myers, 2008). Deindividuation is the situation where anti-normative behavior is released in groups in which individuals are not recognized as individuals (Festinger, 1952). Many people are a part of this…

    • 773 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Afghanistan in December of 2001. This essay will apply the attribution theory to the incarceration of David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay. It will examine the causes of how people perceive the event. Attribution theory is a study for understanding the causes of other’s performence or circumstances. It is stated by a psychologist, Fritz Heider, in 1958. He said that there are two types of attributions, which are internal and external. Internal attribution means the inside factor which is about the person, such…

    • 1051 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays