attribution theory

  

Definition

Concept that people make sense of their surroundings on the basis of what they consider is the cause and what is the effect of a phenomenon. It suggests that individuals observe their own behavior or experience, try to figure out what caused it, and then (whether or not their conclusion is in fact correct) shape their future behavior accordingly. If a consumer, for example, has had bad experience with a locally-made product (and good experience with an imported one) he or she may conclude that the bad product is bad because it is locally made.

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