Theories of attribution bias

Attribution theory is concerned with how individuals interpret events and how this relates to their thinking and behaviour. Heider (1958) was the first to propose a psychological theory of attribution, but Weiner and colleagues (e.g., Jones et al, 1972; Weiner, 1974, 1986) developed a theoretical framework that has become a major research paradigm of social psychology

Fundamental attribution error

The fundamental attribution error focuses generally on how people explain how and why things happen in a social setting. There is a strong tendency for people to explain their own behavior as a function of external situations, but attribute the behavior of others to internal factors.

The fundamental attribution error explains why people often blame other people for things over which they usually have no control.

The term blaming the victim is often used by social psychologists to describe a phenomenon in which people blame innocent victims of crimes for their misfortune. The actor-observer bias tends to be more pronounced in situations where the outcomes are negative.

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For example, someone might say they did poorly on an exam because it was very difficult or unfair. But when explaining another’s behavior, they would be more likely to attribute something internal, like not studying enough.

Actor observer effect
The actor-observer bias is a term in social psychology that refers to a tendency to attribute one’s own actions to external causes, while attributing other people’s behaviors to internal causes. Essentially, people tend to make different attributions depending upon whether they are the actor or the observer in a situation.

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3.1 Self-monitoring in social encounters- Snyder 87-95

3.1 self-disclosure in social encounters- wiemann & Giles/Jourard71

3.1 self-presentation in social encounters- duck 88 influence people in positive way

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Theories of attribution bias. (2016, Jul 04). Retrieved from

Theories of attribution bias

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