A.1. People seek to explain experiences and events by attributing them to causes—that is, by “making causal attributions.”
C.1.1. Often, an event or experience has many possible and perhaps compatible causes, in which case the attributor's task is to choose among them or rank them in terms of relative importance or causal impact.
C.1.2. In cases where the presumed causal agent is a human or humanlike actor, attributions are frequently made to some enduring trait(s) or other characteristic(s) of the actor.
C.1.3. In cases where the presumed causal agent is an actor, attributions are frequently made to the actor's reason(s) or intention(s).
A.2. The attribution process is motivated by (1) a need or desire to perceive events in the world as meaningful, (2) a need or desire to predict or control events, and (3) a need or desire to protect, maintain, and enhance one's self-concept and self-esteem.
C.2.1. Attributional activity consists in part of an individual's attempt to understand events and interpret them in terms of some broad meaningbelief system.
C.2.2. Attributional activity consists in part of an individual's attempt to maintain effective control over events and experiences, in order to increase the probability of positive outcomes and avoid negative outcomes.
C.2.3. Attributional activity consists in part of an individual's attempt to maintain personal security and a positive self-concept, including a general striving toward self-enhancement and the protection of both the physical self and the self-concept against threat.
A.3. Attributional processes are initiated when events occur that (1) cannot be readily assimilated into the individual's meaning-belief system, (2) have implications regarding the controllability of future outcomes, or (3) significantly alter self-esteem either positively or negatively.
A.4. Once the attribution process has been engaged, the particular attributions chosen will be those that best (1) restore cognitive coherence to