Self-Attribution Process


Self-attribution refers to the process through which people determine the antecedents and consequences of their behaviors. Because people do not have access to their internal states—attitudes, beliefs, emotions, motives, traits—they must infer these from observations of their own behaviors and the situational contexts in which they occurred.

Historical Background

Theoretical and empirical accounts of the selfattribution process developed from attribution theory, which addressed how individuals infer the internal states of others from observable behaviors. The theory was derived from the work of Fritz Heider, who suggested that behavioral perceptions are a function of how observers make attributions for the causes of behavior. According to Heider, behavioral causes can be attributed either to the person who performed the behavior (i.e., internal cause) or to the environment in which ...

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