chapter  5
Attribution Theory
Who’s at Fault in Families?
ByValerie Manusov
Pages 11

The earliest modern writing on attribution processes was Heider's argument that people attempt to make sense of one another's actions as part of a general need to control and predict the world around them. In what can be described as a normative view of attributional processing, social psychologists accepted certain beliefs about people and how they select and organize information coming from the social world around them. The most important of these are that people are active interpreters of the events occurring in their lives, and that people use consistent and logical (i.e., normative) means to make their interpretations. As with most established models of social behavior, these early theories have been critiqued extensively. Consistent with a post-positivist perspective, research using attribution theory bends toward making predictive claims about when, why, and how we engage in causal sense-making.