Attributions and Conflict The judgments we make about others determines how we deal with them in conflict Our attributions are a part of our ongoing perception process Attributions are subject to common perception biases that increase the chance of conflict and blame Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Stages in Person Perception and Attribution Attention Stage We attend to someones
appearance, behavior, or the context Snap Judgment Stage We categorize or classify that person Causal Inference Stage We make attributions to explain specific behavior Impression Formation Stage We form general idea of the persons character Prediction Stage We predict how the person will behave in similar situations Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Causal Inferences Attributions Causal inferences are attributions we make to explain why someone did
what they did Causal attributions vary on two dimensions Internal-external Reactive-purposive Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Internal-External Dimension Focuses on the perceived source of causation Internal attribution sees the person as the cause External attribution sees an outside
source (an other, the situation, the forces of nature) as the cause Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Reactive-Purposive Dimension Focuses on whether the behavior was voluntary and intended or involuntary and unintended Reactive attributions assume the behavior was involuntary and unintended Purposive attributions assume the behavior was voluntary and intended
Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Sample Attributions DIMENSIONS Internal External Purposive The driver cut me off because he wanted to switch lanes and he didnt
care about where I was. The driver cut me off because there was a truck following closely behind him that he wanted to avoid. Reactive The driver cut me off because he is a careless person. The driver cut me off
because the two lanes were merging into a single lane ahead and he didnt see me. Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Frames of Reference Frames of reference color the way we see things, they are the general orientation we have to the world How do we handle new information? Closure using our frame to fill in missing information
Assimilation changing the information to fit our frame Accommodation changing our frame to fit the information Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Biases in Perception and Attribution Halo effect we assume that, because a person has one positive attribute they must have many other positive attributes Overgeneralizing we attribute traits to people because they share some characteristics with people who have
those traits Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Biases in Perception and Attribution Fundamental attribution error tendency to automatically blame or credit the person rather than the situation Self-serving bias crediting ourselves for the good things but blaming the situation for the bad things Confirmation bias Once we have an impression of the other, we tend to stick to it (assimilate rather than accommodate in the face of new information)
Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. Biases in Perception and Attribution False consensus effect we think other people are more like us that they actually are (also known as the egocentric attribution bias) Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006. The Attribution Cycle in Destructive Conflict A behavior occurs
We judge/evaluate the behavior as purposive and intentional We assess the other as difficult We look for additional evidence of our assessment We find it We feel confirmed in acting out against the other We shut down communication with the other Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, Mar ch 2006.
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