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Week 2: Social Psychology by Scott Plous

- attribution theory - a theory about how people interpret behavior how they make "causal attributions," or causal explanations, for their behavior as well as the behavior of other people.The way you explain behavior often determines what you'll do about it. Attribution theory is generally credited to Fritz Heider, who kicked everything off with a 1958 book called The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations, but it was social psychologists like Bernie Weiner and Hal Kelley who were actually among the first to develop attribution theory into a detailed and testable theory.
- people usually explain behavior in terms of:
1) person - something about the person may have caused the behavior.
2) entity - some enduring feature of the situation or the stimulus, something outside the person may have caused the behavior.
3) time - something about the particular occasion may have caused the behavior.

- causal attribution are based on:
1) consensus: Do other people respond similarly in the same situation?

2) distinctiveness: Do other situations elicit the same behavior, or is this one distinctive in some way?
consistency: Does the same thing happen time after time?

- "salience": A salient stimulus is one that grabs your attention in some way, that's prominent; salient stimuli tend to be viewed as disproportionately causal. The more salient a stimulus is, the more likely it is to be viewed as causal, as having caused a behavior to occur. And attention is, in turn, a function of salience: we pay more attention to things that are salient.