Attribution Theory

Attribution Theory - Running head: ATTRIBUTION THEORY 1...

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Running head: ATTRIBUTION THEORY 1 Attribution Theory Joel Smith Crisis Management MGT 597 02W Professor Zhang Long April 24, 2011
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Attribution Theory Within the field of crisis management, there are several theories that experts use to explore the way crisis happen and the way people look at them. One such theory that is becoming more popular is the attribution theory. The attribution theory is used to understand the way people behave in a crisis, and how they learn or explain the crisis to themselves. The attribution theory “believes that people try to explain why events happen, especially events that are sudden and negative. Generally, people either attribute responsibility for the event to the situation or the person in the situation. Attributions generate emotions and affect how people interact with those involved in the event” (Coombs, 2007). This theory explains the way that people are able or how they mentally make sense of the world around them. The purpose behind doing this is to determine what kind of control one has over one’s environment and what is happening around them. There are three different ways that people tend to explain success and failure in order to make sense of or learn from a crisis. The first is to determine if the cause is external or internal. In 2007, Don Imus made a remark about the Tennessee women’s basketball team (Crandall, Parnell, & Spillan, 2010, p. 125).
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Attribution Theory - Running head: ATTRIBUTION THEORY 1...

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