Describe the role
of situational and dispositional factors in explaining
theory (Heider 1958) is based on the assumption that people are naive scientists
who try to explain observable behavior. An essential feature of the original
attribution theory is a fundamental distinction about internal and external
causes of behavior.
Attribution theory is based on the assumption that people:
tend to look
for causes and reasons for other people’s behavior because they feel that
there are motives behind most of their own behavior
“intuitive psychologists” who construct their own causal theories of human
causal theories because they want to be able to understand, predict, and
control the environment around them.
to have a pervasive need for causal explanations because this makes the
world more predictable.
have constructed causal explanations for the origin and meaning of life,
(e.g. in myths and religions).
to see motives and dispositions behind human actions may be so automatic
that people sometimes find it difficult to override it even where motives
and dispositions don’t really apply (e.g. when people attribute motives to
objects in computer games or believe in fate or witchcraft).