"Attribution Theory Essays"

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Attribution Theories Essay

Words: 697 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 2421528

Attribution Theories

In general terms, attribution theories are a person's psychological response to a conflict in an effort to explain the cause of the contention. While these theories may apply to any given situation, they are often closely intertwined with more intimate, interpersonal relationships. People in such relationships may attempt to explain their own actions or the actions of the other person in terms that may mitigate their own culpability. The ability to explain why someone would act or behave in a certain way may help a person alleviate the stress associated with the conflict. There are several different types of attribution theories that people use to explain another's behavior but three of them in particular are often cited in relationship studies.

Many people in a relationship may attempt to attribute their counterpart's behavior to personal vs. situational causes. In this way, a person seems to believe that another person acted in a certain way because of his personal nature rather than the situation at hand. For instance, a woman may attribute her boyfriend's behavior to his personality quirks, rather than the situation they are confronting. A friend of mine always complained that her boyfriend was impatient and condescending towards her. Her justification for this was that, though he would never say anything directly to her, she could tell from "the look" he gave her that he was displeased. While she claimed that this was just "the way he is," she never made any attempt to attribute her own behavior to his displeasure. Perhaps he was upset with her for wanting to spend money they didn't have or because she wanted to go out with friends instead of him. In this case he may have been upset with the situation but she instead felt that he acted that way simply because of his personality.

Many people also make attributions about a person's behavior either being stable or unstable. Often during an argument, one person might become exasperated…… [Read More]

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Attribution Theories Essay

Words: 647 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 91957606

Attribution Bias: Personal Anecdotes

One of the most common sources of conflict in relationships is incorrect interpretations of motivation. Because people are narcissistic and cannot always project themselves into the mindset of others, they focus on personality-based vs. situational reasons for behavior and misbehavior. A good example of this was a source of conflict during one of my years in middle school. My English class consistently ran late. Because it was located on the other side of the building, this meant that I was always late for math class the following period. My math teacher was a stickler about promptness, and was clearly prejudiced against me because she interpreted my lateness as rudeness and saw it as an expression of a lack of concern and respect for her class. However, the fault lay with my earlier teacher and the fact that I was too young and shy to ask my English teacher to let me leave on time (of course, this might have caused my English teacher to become angry at me, creating more conflict).

Another error of attribution occurs when we assume that people's characters are fixed and assume that behavior is stable rather than unstable. A male friend of mine, whom I otherwise like, tends to be a 'serial dater.' When he complains about having problems with his girlfriend, I tend to secretly assume that he is the cause rather than the women. Of course, I could be wrong, given that every situation is different between two people, but I am innately suspicious of his perspective on the situation. This often makes me less-than-sympathetic, and creates conflict between the two of us. I find myself saying: "yes, but remember how you treated Jenny," which causes him to respond with anger, saying that his relationship with Jenny is in the past and that Samantha is…… [Read More]

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Attributions in Sports Psychology What Is Attribution Essay

Words: 1115 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 33391261

Attributions in Sports Psychology

What is attribution theory? It is a "cognitive approach to motivation that focuses on how individuals interpret the causes of success and failure," according to an article in the Australian Psychologist (Grove, et al., 1995, 92). In that regard, studies that Grove and colleague reference show that high achieving athletes tend to use internal attributions more readily after success than failure, which is reasonable considering that a successful baseball pitcher knows when he has his best "stuff" and when he wins a game, the attribution is rightly aimed at his skill. When that same pitcher loses, he can chalk it up to the fact that he faced outstanding hitters. And an athlete with less ability tends to use internal attributions "…more after failure than success" (Grove, 92). He might say, "I just didn't come up with the right pitches at the right time." This paper delves into attribution and sports, a subject which has not seen a great deal of scholarship recently.

Why is it important to use attributions in sports?

According to a peer-reviewed article in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, there has been a "decline" in the number of published research articles on attributions, notwithstanding that the attribution theory was a very "hot topic" two decades ago (Rees, et al., 2005, 190). The authors see this decline as an unfortunate situation because attributions are actually explanations the causes of various events, and when people understand what caused an event -- when there is an attribution they can relate to -- they take that understanding with them into "future situations" (Rees, 190). This paper delves into the importance of attributions in sports, and reviews the literature related to sports attributions.

When an athlete or a recreationalist engage in activities -- whether in competition or for one's general healthy conditioning -- discovering how and why that particular performance went the way it did is important. When the athlete's performance turns out to be a failure (for example, a basketball player on a city recreation league becomes exhausted and can't continue the game), pinpointing the cause for that is an attribution. The player may be thinking that no matter how hard he tries, he can't get in good enough shape for a grueling one-hour basketball game. This is a chance for the basketball player to find a cause for his lack of conditioning -- basically he…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Grove, J.R., and Prapavessis, H. (1995). The Effect of Skill Level and Sport Outcomes on Dimensional Aspects of Causal Attributions. Australian Psychologist, 30(2), 92-95.

Rees, T., Ingledew, D.K., and Hardy, L. (2005). Attribution in sport psychology: seeking
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Attributions for Success and or Failure in Sport Performance Essay

Words: 2742 Length: 9 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 69445574

Performance in Sports

Attribution theory posits that ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck are the major attributional factors that cause success and failure in sport. Effort is considered an internal factor while task difficulty is considered an external factor. Ability is considered a permanent factor while luck is a changeable factor. The reformulated learned helplessness model sought to come up with the most relevant causal dimensions. The model suggests that the specificity of attributions combines with causal internality and stability to influence emotions and behavior. The model avers that global factors influence events like laziness while specific factors influence particular events like temporary fatigue. Adaptive reactions, according to helplessness theory, are occasioned by negative outcomes that are attributed to external, unstable, and specific factors. Adaptive reactions can also be facilitated when positive outcomes are attributed to internal, stable, and global factors. Outcomes that suggest that an athlete has high ability have been attributed to internal factors more than the outcomes that do not imply high ability. Athletes perceived to be having high ability make more internal, stable, and controllable attributions than athletes with low perceived ability. Grove & Prapavessis (1995) posit that negative emotional and motivational reactions are minimized when unsuccessful outcomes are attributed to internal, stable, and global causes. The duo, in their study of squash players, found out that the players' attributions were consistent with helplessness theory regarding the stability and globality dimensions. However, there were inconsistencies with helplessness theory with regard to internality dimensions. The causes attributed to competitive failure were significantly less stable and global than those cited for competitive success. The causes were nevertheless strongly internal regardless of the outcome. The findings of this study were consistent with those of other studies where unexpected results have been found regarding self-serving bias. Sports scientists have thus far failed in their bid to document self-serving bias. These…… [Read More]

Aldridge, L.J. & Islam, M.R. (2011). Cultural Differences in Athlete Attributions for Success

and Failure: The Sports Pages Revisited. International Journal of Psychology, 47(1), 67-75.
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Attributions for Success or Failure in Sport Performance Essay

Words: 1450 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 70241170


Sports can be attributed to drastic changes of emotions and expectations by sports fans from their favourite teams or players, based on their performances. These performeances represent the strength, capability and potential of a sportsman or a team. Sports is one of those things where it is almost inevitable to get a result where there is a victor and loser. Sports can be understood as a non-lethal, healthy combat or duel amongst two sportsmen or teams who fight for awards, honours or even bragging rights over each other. This makes the notions of success and failure an integral function of the nature of sports. Through this paper, it is targeted to carry out a thorough analysis and understand the various reasons for which the success and failure in sports performances are witnessed by sportmen and fans. This discussion would aid in determining and developing the many ways in which sports performances can be altered to achieve success and avoid failure using the analysis conducted which would incorporate analyzing physical as well as mental traits and functionalities of a sportsman.


Performance, expectations and emotions are ultimately influenced by people, situations and time. Within sport psychology, experiences of practitioners are probably no match to attributions to strategy or lack of effort. People explanations regarding their performances, the cause behind their performances and the impact of these causes on future performance, expectations and emotions are the issues for sport psychology. For sport achievement, a greater influence might be exerted on subsequent attributions and effort related to sport may be more quantifiable and salient.In intellectual tasks, it was perceived that the ability attributions for failure were precluded by the motivational bias, however in sport tasks, the motivational bias will be reduced in attributions for failure. In compare to intellectual tasks, the perception of effort levels must be more quantitative in sport tasks. In sport…… [Read More]

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Facts and Theories Essay

Words: 940 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 36334300


Two attribution theories applied to marketing include the correspondent inference theory and self-perception theory. The first applies causal attribution to determine the nature of a customer's behavior based on behavioral cues. The cues are derived from a single behavior in a particular situation. Therefore, information on its generalizability can be inferred from the behavior (Wang, 2008). Self-perception theory operates on the premise that behavioral cues emerge from both the observer and the person being observed. Two sets of causal attribution are therefore possible and can be synthesized on the basis of both sets of observations.

Other theories include the brand personality dimensions framework, which operates to compare measured brand personalities, and the hierarchy of effects models, which help marketers to determine the effect of specific advertising techniques on consumers (Marketing Journal, 2005).

Both propositions and hypotheses are statements; the content of these statements, however, differ significantly. A proposition, for example states relationships among concepts. A proposition would explain a logical link between concepts by making a statement regarding a universal connection. This connection is far too general to test empirically. An example might be the link between being friendly in a classroom and loyal, happy students. This is, however, not testable by means of empirical testing (Zikmund et al., 2013).

Hypotheses, on the other hand, make far more specific statements in a formal way in order to explain an expected outcome. In other words, it is a type of "guess" about a probable result. In a teaching situation, this might relate to a specific teaching method that results in better reading test results than other teaching methods (Rao, 2012).

3. Concepts provide a generalized idea about a class of things. These things can be any object, attribute, event, or process that has been given a name. These concepts are highly abstract, offering names for abstract ideas within any subject field. Being abstract, no specific numerical values are attached to these concepts. In organizational theory, for example, leadership and morale are concepts. These do not have specific numeric values attached to them. Even in finance, specific, empirical values are not implied in concepts such as inflation or gross national product.

This…… [Read More]

Live Science (2012, Jul. 10). Deductive Reasoning vs. Inductive Reasoning. Retrieved from: http://www.livescience.com/21569-deduction-vs.-induction.html

Marketing Journal (2005). 13 Useful Marketing Theories. Retrieved from: http://www.marketingjournalblog.com/2005/11/13-useful-marketing-theories.html
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Learning Theory Several Theories Are Essay

Words: 1884 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 88905473

Learning tends to be associated with specific ways of considering events and establishes a student's "explanatory style," or the components of permanence, pervasiveness, and personalization.

Permanence refers to someone believing that negative events and/or their causes are permanent, despite the fact that evidence, logic, and past experience indicate that they are instead temporary: "I'll never be good in English." Pervasiveness is generalizing, so a negative aspect of a situation is thought to extend to others as well: "I failed math, so I'll fail all my courses." Personalization deals with whether individuals attribute negative events to personal flaws or to outside circumstances or people. They tend to blame themselves for everything: "It's always my fault."

To overcome such helplessness, teachers have to incorporate means of gaining self-worth and learned optimism with activities identifying negative interpretations of events, assessing their accuracy and generating more accurate interpretations. The encouragement of gaining mastery over acquiring new learning is essential to alter this personal perception. The teacher needs to incorporate ways of offering praise and positive reinforcement, goal attainment, activities geared toward a student's level, choices in activities, and multiple opportunities. The students who feel helpless can elect to do activities that lead to success.

Obviously, teachers cannot use all of these theories in a classroom setting, but they can recognize that students do not learn the same way and implement a variety of learning styles so all students the opportunity to learn in one or more ways that matches their learning style. Then, they can acquire knowledge about themselves, others and the world at large and, just as important, gain self-confidence and a belief they can succeed.… [Read More]

Bransford, J.D. (Ed) (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Caine, R.N., & Caine, G. (1997). Education on the edge of possibility. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
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George Kelly's Theory Is a Essay

Words: 2361 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 37419541

("Kelly Psychology of Personal Constructs," 2005)

Social Cognitive theories are a primary focus in today's clinical world. The person is seen as a proactive vs. reactive organizer of his or her life. Utilizing the main concepts of this theory explain why Jane is having such difficulty coping with life? How would Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck intervene in Jane's lifestyle?

The social cognitive theory is when there is focus on learning by watching what others do. The successes and failures that they experience are used to shape how the individual will view the world around them and their role in it. This is accomplished by teaching them techniques during the process that can be applied to their daily lives. (Santrock, 2008, pp. 26 -- 30) When this occurs on a regular basis, is the point that the person will begin to use these events as experiences that will shape how they react to different situations.

At the heart of these concepts, are the ideas of moral competence and moral performance. Moral competence is when there is an emphasis on the ability of the individual to perform moral actions. While moral performance is used by the person to motivate them to engage in actions that are considered to be ethical. There several areas that are focused on during the process these include:

What the person is capable of?

What the individual knows?

The skills of the person.

The individual's awareness of moral rules and regulations.

The ability to change their behavior to match these standards.

The combination of these elements are important, because they are used to show how social observations can have an effect on the way an individual is reacting to different situations. (Santrock, 2008, pp. 26 -- 30)

The reason why Jane is having trouble coping is based upon what she has observed after…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
The Beginning of Cognitivist. (2002). All Psych. Retrieved from:

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Dispositional Attributions Attribution Differences in Essay

Words: 2216 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 50847656

29, p > 0.5).


This study set out to test the hypotheses that people from Eastern cultural backgrounds compared to those from Western backgrounds would make fewer dispositional attributions about the behavior of fictitious characters that the read about and would also demonstrate a more collective attitude towards themselves.

With respect to the first hypothesis, that Western participants would make a greater number of dispositional attributions that would participants with Eastern cultural heritages, that hypothesis was supported. However, there are a few caveats that need to be mentioned with regards to this. First, the scenarios that were presented to the participants only provided two alternatives to explain the behavior of the person. One alternative was a negative dispositional explanation, the other was a situational explanation could have been interpreted as far-fetched in some cases. Miller (1984) found that the tendency for Westerners to make internal attributions was higher for deviant behaviors. Morris and Peng (1994) found that explanations provided by Westerners for certain behaviors focused on negative dispositional aspects. There were no instances of positive explanatory behaviors in the survey, nor was there much information about the event to go on. Thus, Western subjects may have simply picked the easiest explanation, whereas Eastern subjects may have went for the most descriptive explanation (Choi et al., 2003). By not providing a more balanced number of scenarios (positive and negative attributions) more alternative choices, and a neutral point the results are actually inconclusive at this time. Thus a cognitive bias such as confirmation bias or attributional error may not have played an important role in the current findings.

The second hypothesis was not supported, that is that those from Eastern backgrounds did not display lower levels of independence than did Westerners. There are several possible explanations. First the standard deviation of the independence scale in Western participants indicates that they displayed a wide variation in their level of independence compared to Eastern subjects (see Table One). This indicates that in this group there is a broader range of feelings of independence, whereas Easterners were a more homogeneous group. Moreover, this variance reduced the power of the t-test. A multivariate test such as MANOVA combining more than one dependent variable may have offered greater statistical power. Finally, it also should be noted that the Eastern group may have been more acculturated to the notion of…… [Read More]

Chiu, C-y., Morris, M.W., Hong, Y-y., & Menon, T. (2000). Motivated cultural cognition: the impact of implicit cultural theories on dispositional attribution varies as a function of need for closure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 247 -- 259.

Choi, I., Dalal, R., Kim-Prieto, C., & Park, H. (2003). Culture and judgment of causal relevance.
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Motivation Theories and Organization Behavior Essay

Words: 347 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58544178

Guarding against stasis while allowing employees to have a sense of control and mastery are some of the important lessons to be learned from these theories. Still other theories of motivation allow for individual differences in what does or does not motivate the subject: Attribution theory's advocates classify individuals into three general categories: achievers who desire personal recognition, affiliation seekers who value relationships, and power seekers who desire control (Straker, 2010, Acquired needs theory). Each type requires a different motivational strategy on the part of the supervisor to ensure the employee functions at an optimal level.… [Read More]

Huitt, W. (2001). Motivation to learn: An overview. Educational Psychology Interactive.

Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved February 16, 2010 from http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/col/motivation/motivate.html
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Leadership Theories the Objective of Essay

Words: 1328 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 18598898

The four Blanchard leadership styles include:

1) directive;

2) managing;

3) coaching; and 4) delegating. (Clawson, 1989)

2) House's Path Goal Theory of Leadership - the motivational function of the leader consists of increasing personal payoffs to subordinates for work-goal attainment and making the path to these payoffs easier to travel by clarifying it, reducing roadblocks and pitfalls, and increasing the opportunities for personal satisfaction en route. (Clawson,1989)


Charismatic leadership is measured by: (1) Followers' trust in the correctness of the leader's belief; (2) similarity of followers' beliefs to the leader's beliefs; (3) unquestioning acceptance of the leader by followers; (4) followers' affection for the leader; (5) followers' willing obedience to the leader; (6) emotional involvement of followers in the mission of the organization; (7) heightened performance goals of followers; and (8) belief of followers that they are able to contribute to the success of the group's mission. (Clawson,

Charismatic leaders have the following: (1) high self-confidence; (2) strong conviction in their own beliefs; (3) creation of the impression that they are competent; (3) are able to articulate ideological goals well for subordinates; (4) appeal to the hope and ideals of followers; (5) use role-modeling; (6) communicate high expectations; and (7) arouse the motives tied to the mission of the group. (Clawson, 1989) Conger and Kanungo's "Attribution Theory of Charisma" Leadership outlines two process that these types of leaders use to influence their subordinates: (1) Personal identification - the leader is admired by followers and want to become more like the leader; and (2) Internalization of values and beliefs - this process is one that goes deeper than personal identification. (Clawson, 1989)


This approach to leadership theory is viewed as a "process in which leaders and followers both inspire one another to elevated moral conduct. The 'Warren Bennis' Theory of Leadership holds that leadership occurs "in a content defined by three elements: (1) Commitment of the culture to excellence and improvement; (2) complexity of the culture/society; and (3) Credibility. Transforming leadership is distinguished from transactional leadership as follows:

Transforming leadership Transactional leadership

Intellectual Legislative

Heroic Group

Executive Bureaucratic

Ideological…… [Read More]

Liu, W., Lepak, D.P., Takeuchi, R., and Sims, H.P (2003) Matching Leadership Styles with Employment modes: Strategic Human Resource Management Perspective. Human Resource Management Review. 13 (2003).

Clawson, J.G. (1989) Leadership Theories. University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. Charlottesville, VA. Online SSRN Research.
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Leadership Path Goal Theory the Boy Scouts Essay

Words: 2436 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 16812245

Leadership Path Goal Theory

The Boy Scouts" using the "path- goal theory

Leadership theories

Path Goal Theory

Explain how the theory works and include an example

Explain the effect of power and influence that leaders have on followers in the organization

Are the followers receptive?

Would you recommend another strategy?

Transformational Leadership

Transactional Leadership

Evaluate the role of transformational and transformational leadership in the organization

Effectiveness of transformational and transactional leadership in the organization


Assess the traits and characteristics of an effective team leader within the organization

Explain how the leadership supports vision, mission, and strategy in the organization

If you were the leader in the organization, what would you change and why?

Conclusion… [Read More]

Bolman, L.G., & Deal, T.E. (2011). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice and leadership. USA: Jossey-Bass.

Samson, D., & Daft, R.L. (2009). Fundamentals of management. Australia: Cengage Learning.