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Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 2006. Attributions and Conflict The judgments we make about others determines how we deal.

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Presentation on theme: "Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 2006. Attributions and Conflict The judgments we make about others determines how we deal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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

2 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March Stages in Person Perception and Attribution Attention Stage – We attend to someone’s 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 person’s character Prediction Stage – We predict how the person will behave in similar situations

3 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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

4 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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

5 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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

6 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March Sample Attributions DIMENSIONSInternalExternal PurposiveThe driver cut me off because he wanted to switch lanes and he didn’t care about where I was. The driver cut me off because there was a truck following closely behind him that he wanted to avoid. ReactiveThe 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 didn’t see me.

7 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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

8 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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

9 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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)

10 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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)

11 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University. Copyright protect, March 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


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