Self-Perception Theory

In everyday life, people observe other people's actions and behaviors and make inferences about others' attitudes based on what they observe. When people see how another person acts in a particular situation, they often attribute the behavior to the person's traits and attitudes. For example, if you view someone in a park recycling a plastic water bottle rather than throwing it in the garbage, you might infer that the individual is concerned about the environment. Similarly, if you witness a school child scowling at her teacher, you might infer that she is upset or angry with the teacher. Interestingly, sometimes people also observe their own behavior, much as an outsider might do, and make similar inferences about their own attitudes based on their behavior. According ...

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