The Effects of Attribution

The Effects of Attribution

Posted by: Lydia & Mina

Key Terms:

Attribution: A concept in social psychology referring to how individuals explain causes of events, others behavior, and their own behavior. (wikipedia)


Attribution is how individuals explain the causes of an event, others behavior, and their own. Two examples are: a jury deciding whether or not someone is guilty and an interviewer judge the applicant's geniality is genuine.

There are political attributions as well. An example may be: how do you explain poverty or unemployment?
Researchers report that political conservatives attribute problems and situations (such as social problems) to personal dispositions of the poor and unemployed.
"People generally get what they deserve. Those who don't work are often freeloaders. Anybody who takes the initiative can still get ahead."

"Society is not to blame for the crime, criminals are."
-U.S. Presidential Candidate
Political liberals and social scientists are more likely to blame past and present situations.
"If you or I had to live with the same poor education, lack of opportunity, and discrimination, would we be any better off?"

Managers also make attributions. An example is when one is evaluating employees. When evaluating, one would attribute to poor performance of personal factors. To go more in depth, one would attribute to the worker's lack of motivation or low ability.

"Our attribution-to individuals' disposition or to their situations-have real consequences."

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"Allan speaks with TVO's Steve Paikin about how the general public tends to not look beyond a person's general appearance when judging them."

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