Definition of attribution theory in US English:

attribution theory


  • A theory that supposes that one attempts to understand the behavior of others by attributing feelings, beliefs, and intentions to them.

    • ‘However, attribution theory could be used again to supply an alternative explanation: the incumbent may have claimed more of the credit than he or she may have been entitled to.’
    • ‘As we know from attribution theory, there is a tendency to focus on the person, not the situation, as the cause of events.’
    • ‘We also discuss the role of attribution theory in understanding the marital distress of these couples.’
    • ‘This version of attribution theory has been successfully applied to a range of children and adolescents.’
    • ‘Models of learning from a single experience of an outcome have been adapted from attribution theory.’


attribution theory

/ˌatrəˈbyo͞oSHən ˌTHēərē/