The Development of Attribution Processes

  • Saul M. Kassin
  • John B. Pryor


Analyses of naive causal explanations have a long and venerable history in both social and developmental psychology (Heider, 1944; Piaget, 1930). Heider (1944) postulated that any “change in the environment gains its meaning from the source to which it is attributed” (p. 372). This “inferred meaning” was for Heider the wellspring for all social behavior. Piaget was similarly impressed with the pivotal role of causal explantion in the development of children’s thinking. Indeed it was Piaget’s view that “the child’s basic orientation towards causal explantion intrudes throughout the length and breadth of his cognitive life” (Flavell, 1963, p. 284).


Intrinsic Motivation Causal Attribution Experimental Social Psychology Causal Judgment Perceptual Salience 
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  • Saul M. Kassin
  • John B. Pryor

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