Evaluate the Contribution of ‘Attribution Theories’ and Related Research in Helping Us to Understand the Way in Which People Perceive and Explain Their Social Environment.

2154 Words Nov 13th, 2012 9 Pages
Evaluate the contribution of ‘attribution theories’ and related research in helping us to understand the way in which people perceive and explain their social environment.

The key concepts behind the idea of attribution theories is to question what was the cause why you chose it and what information led you there. [1]Heider in his description tells us that we make judgements based on either internal/disposition causes, which are responsible for the motivating behaviour located in the persons personality or his apparent mood or on external situational causes which are caused by the environment. External attribution tells how the person acts in a situation outside the persons control whereas internal attribution is telling us
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In the controlled condition identifications of behaviour was based on the actual conversations rather than the recordings. [20]The statistical analysis showed that actors tended to favour situational explanations of their behaviour and observers to favour dispositional explanations. This provides evidence for fundamental attribution error. Storms found the actors when in controlled situations moved more towards the observers identification than their own, demonstrating the actor/observer affect. [21]Thus Storms experiment supports both a perceptual explanation of FAE and AOE. This is evident because the change in the perceptual perspective led to a change in casual explanations. Other explanations of ‘Bias’ is that people tend to ignore certain information, known as [22]‘perceptual salience’. [23]For the actor the situation is seen as perceptual salience thus he or she sees’s causes of their behaviour in the situation rather than being internal. Another explanation is that of ‘self serving bias’, people identify problems they have been having due to external causes and therefore not their fault whereas their successes are attributed to internal causes. [24]There is an empirical description of this tendency in Lau and Russell’s ‘attribution in the sports pages’. [25]This stimulus is taken from media reports rather than construction vignettes. The data collected was qualitative using relative themes in newspaper articles. [26]This method became known as

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