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Attribution. Lecture 5. Inferring causal relations. Baron Albert Michotte (University of Leuven): The perception of causality (1945). People see causality everywhere: Fritz Heider & Mary Ann Simmel (mid-40s.).

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    1. Attribution Lecture 5

    2. Inferring causal relations Baron Albert Michotte (University of Leuven): The perception of causality (1945)

    3. People see causality everywhere: Fritz Heider & Mary Ann Simmel (mid-40s.) Fritz Heider (1896-1988)

    4. Attribution • Beginnings: Fritz Heider (1958) "Psychology of interpersonal relationships" • Atribuere= to ascribe (e.g., to ascribe traits) • Here attribution = ascription of causes • Attribution theories = naive theories of causality. How people explain own and others’ behaviors

    5. ATTRIBUTION vs ATTRIBUTIONAL theories Kelley i Michela (1980) Attribution theories Attributional theories

    6. What do we mean when we ask the „why” question? • Intentional (symbol – meaning) • What does one mean by that? • Teleological (goal – means) • What does one try to achieve with it? • Causal (physical causation) (cause – effect) • What caused it? • Functional (function – structure) • What function does it play? • Genetic (genesis – consequence) • How came? • Nomothetic (law – example) • Which law can be applied?

    7. Main attribution theories • Fritz Heider’s theory (1958) • Correspondent Inference Theory - Jones & Davis (1965) • Self-attribution theory- Daryl Bem • Harold Kelley’s attributional cube • Denis Hilton’s Abnormal Conditions Model • Theory of Arie Kruglanski

    8. Fritz Heider (1896-1988) Theory of naive causality Consistency (balance) theory

    9. Fritz Heider (1958) • Initiated interest in naive theories of causality • Attribution as perception: inference from probablistic cues • Distinction between internal (personal) and external (situational) causes • Actions may be intentional or unintentional. Attribution = understanding of intentions. • Attribution biases, including „fundamental attribution error” (1921) “behavior fills whole perceptual field”

    10. Correspondent Inference Theory Edward E. Jones & Keith Davis (1965) • Attribution - findingcorrespondencebetweenbehaviorand intentions • Two stages in inference: • Intention identification • Attribution of dispositions • Dispositions inferred from attributed intentions • Conditions necessary for inferring intentions: • Actor’s knowledge of behavior consequences • Actor’s freedom of choice • Attribution of intentions  attribution of disposition

    11. Factors influencing strength of dispositional inferences • Behaviors • Atypical: unconventional, inconsistent with expectations • Negative

    12. Experiment by E.E. Jones & Harris (1967) • 60s, war between the US and Cuba • American students evaluate essays (purportedly) written by other students on Fidel Castro • Half – positive, half-negative • Essays of half of each group presented as written under pressure, another half – free-willingly

    13. Conditions essay Pro-Castro Anti-Castro pressure yes no

    14. Task • Estimate person’s attitude toward Castro

    15. Estimated attitude towards Castro essay Pro-Castro Anti-Castro pressure 44.1 22.87 yes 17.38 59.62 no

    16. Estimated attitude towards Castro

    17. Attribution of responsibility • Hedonism principle: attribution of responsibility stronger when consequences have hedonic value • Personalism principle – attribution of responsibility stronger when consequences are personally relevant

    18. Self-attribution theory Daryl Bem (1967) • Own attitudes and motivations inferred from own behaviors • Overjustification effect (Lepper, Greene i Nisbett): Information about external incentive lowers attribution to internal factores • External vs. internal motivation (Edward Deci) • Valins effect • Sleeping pills and arousal • Walking over bridge and attraction

    19. „Why do I date X?” • Mark Zannaet als. study of experienced emotions • Couples • Rubin’s Love Scale • Replying to one of two questions: • (a) „I date him/her because of....." • (b) „I date him/her in order to..." • Again filling Rubin’s Love Scale • Results: drop in reported love in (b)

    20. Conditions for self-attributional effects? • Attitude strengthand self-attribution • Stronger effects for weak attitudes • Stronger effects for attitudes not yet formed • Practical consequences: influencing people’s attitudes by making people aware of their own behaviors

    21. Inferring own and others’ traits • Karyłowski & Niewiarowski (2006) • Attribution of own traits based on introspective information (do I feel honest, wise etc.) • Attribution of other people’s traits based on observation of behaviors (does the person behave honestly, wisely etc.) • Attribution of friends’ traits –in between (both internal states and behaviors)

    22. Harold H. Kelley(1921-2003)

    23. Harold Kelley’s attribution theory • Two theories of attribution • For replicable events (the „cube”) • For unique events (theory of causal schemata)

    24. Classification of causes ANOVA model in perception of causality internal external person object circumstances

    25. Subject – object and interpretation if behavior Behavior Subject Object circumstances

    26. Subject - object - circumstances: three sidesof attrubitional cube Attributional cube Objectt circumstancs Person

    27. Cause • Person (perpetrator is guilty ) • Object (victim is guilty) • Circumstances (circumstances made the behavior easy) • Interaction between the factors • Person-object (this perpetrator towards this very victim) • Person-circumstances (this perpetrator in these specific circumstances) • Object-circumstances (this victim in these specific circumstances) • Person-object-circumstances (this perpetrator towards this very victim in these specific circumstances)

    28. Three types of information • consistency: • How consistent is actor’s behavior in different times and situations • distinctivenes: • Is the behavior object-specific or does it also apply to other objects • consensus • How common is the behavior in tthe population

    29. Example: After the first date Ann left Joe for somebody else

    30. Consistency Low High Ann Joe Ann Joe It was their first time Ann did it several times with Joe

    31. Distinctiveness Low High George George Ann Joe Ann Joe Bill Bill Ann had several steady boyfriends before, only with Joe it happened like this Ann always leaves her partners after the first date

    32. Consensus High Low Keith Keith Ann Joe Ann Joe Sarah Sarah It happened only with Ann, other girls wanted to date Joe again All girls leave Joe after the first date

    33. Atrribution to interaction person x object Consistency- high Distinct – high Consensus - low Cause: Interaction of traits of Joe & Ann

    34. Attribution to person’s dispositions consistency- high distinct – low consensus - low cause: dispositions of subject (Ann)

    35. Atrribution to object Consistency – high Distinct – high Consensus - high Cause: dispositions of object (Joe)

    36. Attribution to circumstances consistency - low Cause: Properties of circumstances (eg. Atmosphere, customs)

    37. Tests of Kelley’s model • McArthur: unequal weights ascribed to the three information • consistency - 20% variance • distinctiveness - 10% • consensus - 3% • Underestimation of consensus information (study by Nisbett, Borgidaand others) • Underestimation of consensus information – a universal phenomenon? • Consequences?

    38. Tests of Kelley’s model • Other factors influencing attribution: • Evaluation of theoutcome (positiveor negative) • Whose behavior is being explained (own or other’s) • Content of behavior(morality or competence) • Is behavior intentional or not?

    39. Denis Hilton Abnormal Conditions Model

    40. Abnormal Conditions Model Denis Hilton • Reanalysis of the factorial model of Harold Kelley • Which information is missing?

    41. Why did Ann leave Joe after the first date? Factorial schema -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PersonAnnOther girls -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Object JoeOther boysJoeOther boys ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Circumstancestodayothertodayothertoday other todayother ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- cell -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 4 5 6 1 2 7 8 distinctiveness ??? consistency consensus

    42. Typicality High Low Keith Bill Keith Bill Ann Joe Ann Joe Sarah Sarah George George Other girls leave their partners after the first date Other girls do not leave partners after the first date

    43. Attribution process according to Denis Hilton • Only abnormal behavior is explained • Information about consistency, distinctivenessand consensus – cues that help identify the causes of abnormal states • Low consensus: person • High distinctiveness: object • Low consistency: circumstances

    44. Arie W. Kruglanski

    45. Theory of causes according to Arie Kruglanski (1975) • Four causes according to Aristotle: • Material – what is it made of? • Formal – how is it made? • Efficient – who or what made it? • Final - what has it been made for? • Different types of explanation: teleological vs. mechanistic

    46. Arie W. Kuglanski • ACTIONS versus OCCURRENCES • Actions: • Endogenous – a goal in itself • Exogenous – instrumental with respect to the goal

    47. Attributions for „actions” and „occurrences” differ • Actions – intentional • Occurrences – nonintentional • Occurrences – processed according to Kelley’s model • Information on consensus • External attribution more frequent • Actions • Focus on consistency • Endogenous actions – more internal attributions than exogenous actions

    48. X is a paid murderer Exo- X when driving, killed Y X did it .... Endo- X did not notice Y X’ wife betrayed X with Y: X took revenge Efficient cause Final cause (reason for)

    49. Causes versus reasons • Cause = why something was done (who or what did it) • Reason = reason why the action was taken (what for) • Distinction: A.R. Buss (1978) • Locke & Pennington (1982): possible causes of behavior

    50. Causes of behavior according to Locke & Pennington (1982) causes internal (1) external I was asked to (2) dispositions reasons I am an orderly person (3) psychological (4) situational Why did you clean your desk? Could not find anything here There was a mess