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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. 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.
1 Background 2 Types 2.1 Explanatory attribution 2.2 Interpersonal attribution 3 Theories 3.1 Common sense psychology 3.2 Correspondent inference theory 3.3 Covariation model 3.4 Three-dimensional model 4 Bias and errors 4.1 Fundamental attribution error 4.2 Culture bias 4.3 Actor/observer difference 4.4 Dispositional attributions 4.5 Self-serving bias 4.6 Defensive attribution hypothesis 5 Application 5.1 Learned helplessness 6 Perceptual salience 7 Criticism 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading
Psychological research into attribution began with the work of Fritz Heider, often described as the "father of attribution theory", during the early years of the 20th century. Fritz Heider was born in Vienna, Austria in 1896. As a teenager, he had a deep love of the arts and would often spend time painting. However, his father, an architect, encouraged him to choose a more practical career. Fritz then tried his hand at architecture and law, but nothing truly provoked his interest until he enrolled in the University of Graz in 1916, where he became drawn to philosophy and psychology. By 1919, he began writing his thesis on “the subjectivity of sense qualities”  and was eventually awarded a doctorate in 1920 for his findings. In his 1920 's dissertation Heider addressed a fundamental problem of phenomenology:
References: Fiske, S.T., & Taylor, S.E. (1991). Social cognition (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Heider, F Jones, E. E. and Davis, K. E. (1965) From acts to dispositions: the attribution proces in social psychology, in L. Berkowitz (ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Volume 2, pp. 219-266), New York: Academic Press Kelley, H