11-5 & 11-10 Attribution_Processes

11-5 & 11-10 Attribution_Processes - Attribution...

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1 Attribution Processes • Dispositional inferences – going from act (behavior) to disposition. • Sometimes we wonder “Why did (s)he do that?” Explaining someone’s behavior – the attribution process. • Attribution -- another way of elaborating on (going beyond; using) available information. Explaining the cause of behavior. Attribution – response to question “Why?” • Attribution – an inference, but a specific type of inference – one concerned with causation. Attribution Processes • Origins in Heider (1958; excerpt – Rdng. 17). • Heider -- the types of causes that might guide behavior. Two important distinctions: – Locus of causation – internal (person) or external (situation) – Stability of cause – stable, unstable • Why would perceiver care about causes for person’s behavior? – Effective social interaction – Predict and control – Seek “invariances” Attribution Processes • Two dimensions combined create four different types of causes. For example, consider person who wins a tennis match. How can we explain that? Stability Locus stable unstable person ability motivation situation task dffclty luck
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2 Attribution Processes • How does perceiver make attribution judgment? • Kelley (1967) – covariation model. An effect is attributed to the one cause with which it covaries over time. Effect is attributed to condition that is present when it occurs and absent when it does not occur. Attribution Processes • Person (P) does behavior (B) toward object (O). Matt yelled at Kevin during the poker game. Perceiver attributes to person or to situation. On what basis? • Three kinds/sources of information: Consistency – Does P always do B to O? Does Matt always yell at Kevin during poker games? Distinctiveness – Does P do B to other Os? Does Matt yell at other people during poker games, or only at Kevin? Consensus – Do other people do B to O? Do other guys yell at Kevin during poker games? Attribution Processes • Question: Why did Matt yell at Kevin? – Due to something about P (Matt) or about O (Kevin)? • Pattern of 3 kinds of information drives causal attribution. Each can be high (H) or low (L). (McArthur, 1972). Pattern of Info. Consis Distnct Consens Attribution H L L H H H H H L L H L
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3 Attribution Processes • Limitations of the covariation model. – The information needed . Don’t always have all the info needed for this analysis (how Matt behaved in past, how others behave to Kevin, etc.). How make attributions? – The process – logical, rational, thoughtful, consuming. Do people really give that much thought to it? – The use of information. Three kinds of information – to what extent are they used? Underuse of consensus information.
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This document was uploaded on 12/07/2009.

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11-5 & 11-10 Attribution_Processes - Attribution...

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