Trial ends in Request Full Access Tell Your Colleague About Jove

4.1: Attribution Theory
TABLE OF
CONTENTS

 
TRANSCRIPT

4.1: Attribution Theory

Behavior is a product of both the situation (e.g., cultural influences, social roles, and the presence of bystanders) and of the person (e.g., personality characteristics). Subfields of psychology tend to focus on one influence or behavior over others. Situationism is the view that our behavior and actions are determined by our immediate environment and surroundings. In contrast, dispositionism holds that our behavior is determined by internal factors (Heider, 1958). An internal factor is an attribute of a person and includes personality traits and temperament.

The Attribution Lens

Social psychologists have tended to take the situationist perspective, whereas personality psychologists have promoted the dispositionist perspective. Moreover, in the United States, the predominant culture tends to favor a dispositional approach in explaining human behavior. Why do you think this is? We tend to think that people are in control of their own behaviors, and, therefore, any behavior change must be due to something internal, such as their personality, habits, or temperament. However, modern approaches to social psychology take both the situation and the individual into account when studying human behavior (Fiske, Gilbert, & Lindzey, 2010). In fact, the field of social-personality psychology has emerged to study the complex interaction of internal and situational factors that affect human behavior (Mischel, 1977; Richard, Bond, & Stokes-Zoota, 2003).

 

This text is adapted from OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX.

Get cutting-edge science videos from JoVE sent straight to your inbox every month.

Waiting X
simple hit counter