Causal attribution - what is it in psychology and communication?

Causal attribution - what is it in psychology and communication?

Quite often we try to understand the reasons of actions of others. At the same time assessment of behavior can be connected both with circumstances, and with personal characteristics of the specific person. Such estimation is called causal attribution. What is the theory of causal attribution - the question demanding detailed consideration.

What is causal attribution?

Experts in the field of psychiatry say that causal attribution is the separate phenomenon of interpersonal perception consisting in interpretation, attributing of the reasons of actions of other person at deficiency of information on the real reasons of his behavior. This term was created in the western social psychology and could get general idea in the theory of attribution developed by researchers.

Causal attribution - types and mistakes

Causal attribution in psychology shows various regularities leading to perception errors. People can explain own failures and success of others, applying situational attribution. Often all of us try to treat ourselves more loyally and more softly, than the people surrounding us. To analyze the progress and failures of others personal attribution is applied. Interesting it is possible to call the fact that success reason is quite often connected with the merits, and can accuse circumstances of failures. In it the feature of mentality of the person also consists.

Types of causal attribution

Saying that causal attribution means, it is important to remember about its types. Psychologists call three types of causal attribution:

  1. Object causal attribution – relationship of cause and effect is attributed to that object on which action addresses.
  2. Personal – attribute to the person who made an act.
  3. Adverbial – is attributed to circumstances

Errors of causal attribution

Allocate typical errors of causal attribution:

  1. Tendency to revaluation of a role of personal factors and ability to underestimate influence of a situation, circumstances. This mistake is characteristic of those whom it is possible to call observers. Giving a mark to behavior of other person, it is quite often possible to see a certain regularity. So, at failures say that someone not really tried, or that people do not have enough abilities. When result of activity successful, we can claim that they were lucky. If it is about self-attribution, then it is possible to observe the return trend as its main objective is to keep a positive self-assessment.
  2. Error of false consent – the person can interpret own behavior as typical, being to peculiar many people.
  3. Error of different opportunities of role behavior – different social roles can assume unequal behavior. For this reason during attribution perceiving interprets behavior of others agrees with their social roles.
  4. Ignoring of information value of what did not happen – a tendency to take exclusively obvious facts in attention.

Causal attribution and interpersonal attraction

In psychology understand sympathy, attachment and human relations as interpersonal attraction. Each of us not only perceives people around, but also forms the to them the relation. At the same time to everyone it will be individual. Such attraction influences a phenomenon of causal attribution. In other words, when the attitude towards the person positive, both an explanation of the reason of acts, and behavior can be softer and more loyal. When the person is frankly not nice, the reasons of actions of the person can are ruthlessly criticized.

Causal attribution in communication

To understand what means a concept causal attribution, it is important to know when it arises. There is it at emergence of unexpected barriers on the way of joint activity – at emergence of difficulties and the conflicts, collision of interests and views. When all this occurs, people apply causal attribution. In other words we attribute the behavior reasons for other people and the more difficulties in interaction, the more seriously we approach search of the reason.

Delay on a meeting with friends can be an example of causal attribution. Someone from expecting is sure that it can be connected with weather, another believes that the friend because of levity is late, and the third doubts at all whether reported late about the meeting place. So all friends have different representations about the delay reasons: circumstances, features and properties of character, the reason in.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team