Social Attribution : A Reflection Of Personality, Beliefs, And Attitudes

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Paper 2: Social Attribution In 2004, seven United States soldiers were convicted for abusing Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib Prison. Reports disclosed that prisoners were forced to undergo physical abuse such as beatings and acid burns. Prisoners were also subjected to sexual abuse, performing sexual acts on display before prisoners and guards. After the reports were made public, people tried to assign the causes behind the guard’s behavior (Paper 2 Prompt). This is process referred to as social attribution (lecture 9/10/15). There are two types of social attribution that serve as an explanation for the soldiers’ actions: dispositional attribution and situational attribution. One of the attributions, referred to as a dispositional attribution, illustrates that ones’ internal thoughts are the premises for behavior. Meaning that ones’ behavior is a reflection of personality, beliefs, and attitudes (Lecture 9/10/15). An example of a dispositional attribution, is that the soldiers abused prisoners due to preexisting prejudices against Iraqi people. Specifically, the soldiers’ think that all people in Iraq hate Americans, and that is why they subjected the prisoners to physical and sexual abuse. On the other hand, situational attributions cite external factors as the determinate of behavior. Implying that the environment or culture influences behavior. (Lecture 9/10/15). For instance, the soldiers only following orders by administering abuse towards the prisoners.

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