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3-28-SocialCognition2 - Social Cognition II Social...

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1 Social Cognition II Social Cognition II Attribution • Attitudes Attribution Attribution refers to the process of inferring the causes of mental states and behaviors of yourself and of others Try to determine the extent to which situations, persons, and behaviors vary with each other External attributions : Behavior is due to the situation : “The boss yelled at me because this is April 15th and his taxes are not done…” Internal attributions : Behavior reflects the person : “The boss yells at everyone… even his mom…”
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2 Issues in Attribution Whether attributions are made to the person or the situation depends on: 1. Consensus: The extent to which a behavior is operative in a group Consensus responses induce bias toward viewing the behavior as situational 2. Consistency: Refers to the extent to which a person responds reliably to a stimulus. Consistent responses elicit internal attributions 3. Distinctiveness: Extent to which person responds to different stimuli Distinctive responses elicit internal attributions Biases in Attribution Fundamental Attribution Error: observers’ bias in favor of internal attributions in explaining others’ behavior – i.e., we would be more likely to say: “The boss yells at everyone… even his mom…” – Observer may not be aware of all situational factors Actor-Observer Difference: when we are the observer, we tend to emphasize dispositional factors (fundamental attribution error) but when we are the actor, we emphasize external causes Biases in Attribution Defensive attribution: tendency to blame victims for their misfortune so that one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way.
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