Attribution - this is the endowment of one individual by another with characteristics and qualities that cannot be seen in the immediate field of perception. With the help of attribution, one person analyzes and reflects on the reasons for the behavior of the second, evaluates his personality. Attribution in psychology is a mechanism for explaining individual behavior. It arises because the information coming from direct observation is not enough to adequately interact with the environment. Therefore, people often “think out” facts that they could not find out or could not directly perceive. One person, following the actions of another, comes to a conclusion about the potential causes of behavior. The observer bases his conclusions on situational factors (conditions, setting) and subjective factors (efforts, abilities).
Social psychologists have developed a theory of attributive characteristics, explaining the rules that people use when they judge the behavior of others, thereby defining attribution styles.
Attribution is rarely objective, it is also not always an exact process, it is hampered by certain attributive distortions (attitudes, goals, motives). These distortions affect the way people assess their own behavior and the actions of others.
Often they talk about causal attribution, which means the interpretation of the behavior of the interlocutor, through the nomination of certain assumptions about possible intentions, reasons, motives of the individual, with their further endowment to the partner of communication.
Causal attribution most of all determines the social perception of a person if information is insufficient and needs to be recognized from somewhere. The findings of the attribution process may contribute to the creation of social stereotypes and patterns. This allows the person himself to more easily perceive and learn other people, contributes to the development of prejudices regarding representatives of different social categories and groups (ethnic, age, professional).