Consistency and Cognition: A Theory of Causal Attribution

Consistency and Cognition: A Theory of Causal Attribution

Consistency and Cognition: A Theory of Causal Attribution

Consistency and Cognition: A Theory of Causal Attribution

Excerpt

For over 35 years, social psychologists have recognized the importance of causal attribution in determining behavior. Heider's (1944, 1958) suggestion -- that a person's ability to control his or her environment depends on the recognition of causal relationships -- constitutes the initial statement of the relationship between attribution and behavior. To negotiate the external world, it is certainly advantageous, and possibly essential, to understand which specific events are causing what particular effects. The role of this process in determining behavior is clarified by Kelley's (1973) statement that: "causal attribution identifies the causes of certain effects and forms the basis for decisions about how to act in order to bring about the continuance or discontinuance of those effects [p. 127]." That a person's behavior in a particular situation may be affected by what that person sees as causing a particular effect highlights the need for a theory providing an integrated approach to the dynamics of the causal-attribution process.

TOWARD AN INTEGRATED THEORY OF CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION

Goal-directed models and models with no implied goal state constitute the two major approaches to the study of cognitive . . .

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