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Heider (1958) was the first to note the naïve scientist in humans—the part that seeks to understand and explain the actions of others, which is the basis of attribution theory. Central to attribution theory is the notion of disposition, understood as a stable individual quality. When people make attributions, they may differ to the extent that they believe a behavior is dispositional or situational (Fiske, 2014). For example, when a person is late to a meeting, is it (a) because he or she is a lazy person, (b) because he or she has a poor work ethic, or (c) because of an external event such as a traffic jam on the way to work?

For this Discussion, review this week’s media program, Week 3: The Virtual Office, and select an attribution theory. Consider how the theory explains the behavior of the person in the media program.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a brief description of the attribution theory you selected. Then describe how the theory you selected explains the behavior of the person in the media. Finally, describe one limitation of the theory in explaining the behavior of the person you selected and explain why it is a limitation. Use the current literature to support your response.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 5 to your colleagues who selected a different theory than you and discuss whether your theory or your colleague’s theory is more applicable in explaining the behavior of the person you selected. Support your responses with the Learning Resources and the current literature.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

References:

Fiske, S. T. (2014). Social beings: Core motives in social psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York, NY: Wiley.

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Discussion 2: Heuristics

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