Attribution Theory : Event Causation And Relational Dialectics Theory

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Attribution Theory The attribution theory is largely derived from Psychology and is usually situated in a post-positive paradigm. The goal of the theory is to find patterns and make generalizations of certain phenomena in different situations. Fritz Heider is known as the creator of the attribution theory and believed that people act as “naïve scientists” when trying to understand the world around them (Spitzberg & Manusov, 2015, p. 37). Even though some novelty in relationships is good according to the original version of the Relational Dialectics Theory, most people do not like things that largely differ from the expected action or outcome. When things are very important or unexpected to people, they tend to look for reasons why and how those things happened (Spitzberg & Manusov, 2015, p. 38). According to Spitzberg and Manusov (2015), attribution theory can be applied in two ways: event causation and trait inference (p. 38). Event causation is when people assume that an event caused an action or behavior to occur. Trait inference is when people assume that a person’s characteristics caused the event or behavior. They also claim that there are often four dimensions that people focus on when making attributions: locus, stability, specificity, and responsibility (Spitzberg & Manusov, 2015, p. 38). Locus refers to the whether the cause is attributed internally or externally. An example of this would be if a person is running late and you blame it on them
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