External Attribution And Political Ideologies

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Attributions are an important aspect of human behavior that allows us to construct a casual understanding of human conduct. Internal attribution often occurs when people conclude that an event or person’s behavior is caused by personality traits or a person’s ability. External attribution occurs when people infer that a person’s behavior is caused by situational factors. Constructing these attributions allows individuals to make inferences about causes of events and behavior. Often times, we make attributions to understand our experiences and make casual explanations for specific behaviors. I investigated the influence of political ideology (conservatism) and attributions (internal vs. external) on punitive attitudes towards criminal…show more content…
In a similar experiment, Auzoult, Hardy-Massard, and Gangloss (2013) conducted a study to see how certain power bases influence the behavior of a target individual. They hypothesized that the target behavior that relies on the legitimate, reward, or coercion bases are more likely to be external attributions, while the compliance that relies in information, expertise, or reference bases are more likely to be internal attributions. Participants were told to watch nine different scenarios; each scenario defined different behaviors. Results showed that participants who choose internal attributions are more frequent when they explained rebellious behaviors. It became evident that attribution does influence one’s behavior and judgment. I decided to look at each attribution separately along with the effect it may have on punitiveness. Bellizzi (2006) conducted a study to see the correlation between external attribution and punitiveness. He examined the relationship between performing a job task and the disciplinary consequences. He predicted that being a top sales person is correlated with lenient discipline. Participants in this study were all sale managers who answered a series of questions that were mailed out. Results did in fact show that top sales performers received more leniencies when it came to discipline than poor sales performers. Tam, Shu, Ng, & Tong (2013) examined
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