A Dispositional Attribution Is To Personality As A Situational Attribution Is To Environment
Attribution is a psychological concept that refers to the explanations people often develop for why others behave the way they do. Attribution theory seeks to understand how people infer the cause of events and behaviors. It is divided into two distinct types: dispositional and situational attribution. Understanding the differences between these two types can help to better explain why people act the way they do.
Dispositional attribution is the belief that a person’s behavior can be attributed to their personality and character traits. This type of attribution suggests that internal, stable aspects of an individual are to blame for their behavior. Situational attribution, on the other hand, is the belief that a person’s behavior can be attributed to external, short-term factors in their environment. It suggests that situational factors such as circumstances or external influences are largely responsible for a person’s behavior.
The contrast between the two can be seen in the example of a student earning a failing grade in school. A dispositional attribution for the student’s failure may be that they are lazy or not intelligent enough; conversely, a situational attribution may be that the student was assigned too much material to learn or had too few resources to help them learn.
In social psychology, it is important to recognize the role that both dispositional and situational attributions play in explaining people’s behavior. By understanding the distinction between the two, one can gain a better understanding of why people behave the way they do.