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Ψ  Social Psychology
- Attributions -

          Attributions are the things we point to as the cause of events, other peopleís behaviors, & our own behaviors.
          Internal Attributions are explanations of behavior based on the internal characteristics or dispositions of the person performing the behavior.
          External Attributions are explanations of behavior based on the external circumstances or situations.

         The Covariation model says that, in making attributions, we should look for factors that are present when the behavior occurs & factors that are absent when the behavior does not occur.

          Covariation factors:
          Consensus means determining whether other people engage in the same behavior in the same situation.
          Consistency means determining whether the person engages in this behavior every time he or she is in a particular situation.
          Distinctiveness means determining how differently the person behaves in one situation when compared to other situations.

          Three major errors in making attributions:
         1. Fundamental attribution error refers to our tendency, when we look for causes of a personís disposition or personality traits & overlook how the situation influenced the personís behavior.
         2. Actor-observer effect refers to the tendency, when you are behaving (or acting), to attribute your own behavior to situational factors. However, when you are observing others, you attribute their behavior to their personality traits or disposition.
         3. Self-serving bias refers to explaining our successes by attributing them to our dispositions or personality traits and explaining our failures by attributing them to the situations.

General Psychology
Robert C. Gates