Theories Of Attribution Theory

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Attribution Theory Attribution theory has a long and rich history in the field of psychology and deals with the subjectively perceived causes of actions and their results. People try – as a “naive scientist” – to draw conclusions about causality from available information. In the context of attribution theory causality does not refer to actual or ‘true’ causality but rather a person’s subjective perception of causes. Thus, this theory is all about explanations of “why” (“Why did I fail the exam”, “Why has the computer crashed?”, “Why have I missed the bus?”) and looks for patterns, consistencies, and outcomes regarding these explanations. Attribution theory has been widely applied to understand, explain and predict human behavior in several…show more content…
He was the first to initially distinct between internal (interpersonal/self-focused) and external (situational/factors outside of one’s control) attributions. Internal attributions are e.g. intention (“Do I want it?”), effort (“How hard do I try?”), and ability (“Can I do it?”). In contrast external attributions are e.g. difficulty (“How hard is it?”) and coincidence (“How systematic is it?”). In other words an internal attribution means that a person believes that a certain event or behavior is caused by him/herself, while an external attribution means that the person believes that the event or behavior is caused by external…show more content…
[16], [34]). Research has also shown that optimistic (favorable/desirable) causal attributions (e.g. ability) for previous successful computer performance have a positive effect on one’s computer self-efficacy. Contrary, pessimistic (unfavorable/undesirable) causal attributions (e.g. lack of ability) for previous unsuccessful computer performance result in a negative effect on one’s self-efficacy [21]. Figure 1 illustrates the relationships between computer-related causal attributions, self-efficacy, and computer security behavior. In this study, we explore the plausibility of using the attribution theory to explain a user’s computer security

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