The Attribution Theory

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The Attribution Theory: Explanations of Different Behavior Frimy Frankel Social Psychology In social psychology, attribution explains why people behave or act a certain way. There are two theories that are believed to analyze and justify human behavior. The Attribution Theory and Covariation Model both determine how a person will act in a certain situation. At times, people will underestimate the root of certain behaviors because of their ignorance to the actual circumstances. Fritz Heider, known to be the father of the Attribution Theory, came up with the concept of internal and external attribution. Both of these attributions demonstrate as to why people behave a certain way. Internal attribution concludes that a person’s behavior…show more content…
Moreover, Riggio and Garcia analyzed the effect of priming on a second group of students. “The students in the second group watched a video demonstrating the power of social influences and environmental factors on the behavior of individuals. After watching the video, students were asked to read the same excerpt that was given to the first group. The students who watched the video attributed more situational factors to the cause of the character’s bad day than students who did not watch the video” (Berry: the Fundamental Attribution Error the Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, Volume 5). These results show an example of how the Fundamental Attribution Error has assumptions for how we judge behavior through internal or external attributions. In this experiment, we see how the first group judged the behavior through internal attributions. The second group however, watched a video that influenced their decision in attributing the circumstances and the situation rather than the individual traits of the character in the excerpt. This experiment is an example of how the Attribution Theory and Covariation Model affect the behavioral judgment of people. A “belief in a just world” makes the presumption that people get what they deserve. This is a type of defensive attribution. Although this allows people to deal with vulnerability, people will end up blaming the victim in the situation and cause injustice. People will often misjudge other people claiming that they deserve what they get. For example, they will find ways of excusing and justifying unfair behavior by insisting that people succumb to situations that they are meant to fall victim

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