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PSYC 2230 (205)


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York University
PSYC 2230
Frank Marchese

thPSYC2230A Lecture June 10 2014 CHAPTER 10 COGNITIVE MOTIVATION ATTRIBUTION THEORY 1 Attribution theory involves the study of decisions we make about the causes of events Humans are motivated to attribute or assign causes to outcomes Motivation to do so stems from the need to make sense of events personal interpersonal impersonal o Social attribution People assign attribute particular causes to other peoples behaviour We assign personal causation to others behaviour or we assign situational causation to others behaviour In some sense assigning causes to others behaviour is accounting for the motivations underlying their behaviour For example so and so succeeded or failed at a task because of Dispositional forcespersons ability effort or because of bad luck and the like According to Heider 1950s We are biased toward dispositional attributions That is the tendency to attribute others behaviour to stable internal characteristics This tendency is called the fundamental attribution error Thus attributions are biased in favor of dispositional explanations a de Charms suggests that this bias may stem from our belief that as we ourselves try to control outcomes so we believe that others are doing the same As a result we tend to misattribute behaviour to internal causes when they may be very much situationally determined Further once we make these dispositional attributions they are difficult to change b Non
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