Definition: Attribution Theory is an umbrella term for various models that attempt to explain the processes by which individuals explain the causes of behavior and events.
AT is about how people make causal explanations.
In his 1958 book "The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations", Heider says that all behavior is considered to be determined by either internal or by external factors:
- External Attribution: causality is assigned to an outside factor, agent or force.
- Internal Attribution: causality is assigned to an inside factor, agent or force.
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