Organizational Behavior Perspectives and Attributions
The Attribution Theory is associated with three major factors that define it - Organizational Behavior Perspectives and Attributions introduction. Distinctiveness, it means whether an individual displays different behaviors in different situations. Consensus, it occurs if everyone who is in a similar situation responds in a same way, and the last one, which is consistency in a person’s actions. The more consistent the behavior of one person, the more the observer is inclined to attribute it to internal causes.
Attribution theory defines that when we observe an individual’s behavior, we try to determine whether it was internally or externally caused. That determination depends largely on three factors above. Internally caused behaviors are those that are believed to be under the personal control of the individual. In the other hand, externally caused behavior was seen as resulting from outside causes, that is the person was seen as having been forced into the behavior by the situation instead of his own behavior.
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Students’ personal behavior is the example of an internally caused behavior which was believed that everyone’s behavior is beyond the personal control of the individual. From Professor Anderson’s view about his students, due to the low distinctiveness, he feels that the students were always last minute, not only in doing their assignments work but also their homework, which was actually caused by the internally caused behavior that were believed to be under the personal control of the students.
If the distinctiveness is high, which means the students were always handing up and doing their assignments and homework in time before this and able to provide excellent answers for every questions given to them, therefore, it may be true that the students were actually affected by the confusing assignment and having to obtain a bad result in the end. This shows that it was the external factor that affects the student’s grading instead of being internally caused.
Other than that, eternally caused behavior is because of the result from outside causes such as the environment. One is normally been forced into the behavior because of the situation. The high consensus could be the result of external factors, which means in this case, all of the students in Professor Anderson’s class complaint about the assignment was too vague and the grading did not accurately reflect their knowledge at the same time.
For an example, if the professor did not guide her students thoroughly, these may cause all of the students to obtain an unsatisfying grade at the same time. If the assignment was too vague as complaint from the students, this external factor may also affect the grading of the students. But if the consensus was low, perhaps it was the fact that only some of the students did not do well for their assignment due to the lack of doing enough research or maybe it was their very own behavior that caused them to obtained bad grading for their assignment.
As a result, these shows that if the consensus is high, the behavior that we see may maybe externally caused, while if the consensus for the class is low, it was due to internal factors. Besides that, laziness is one of the internal factors that result in high consistency. In this case, if the student are lazy, they always late to class and do their assignment at the thirteenth hour, these are the reason why the professor believes that the assignment could be fair and the class had chosen not to work until the very last minute.
But if the consistency is low, which means that the students were always punctual in doing everything instead of doing it at the last minute, listened and paid attention to the professor every time in the class, Professor Anderson may be wrong based on her opinion about her students’ behavior and that the grading was to be fair for their laziness, which was actually externally caused by factors such as having to study for other examinations at the same time or the deadlines for other assignments were at the same date as Professor Anderson’s.
In a nut shell, the low distinctiveness, low consensus and high consistency reflects the internally caused behavior such as laziness and bad habit of doing everything at the last minute, were the factors that cause the students to obtain an unsatisfying assignment grade while the high distinctiveness, high consensus and low consistency proves the externally caused behavior such as the sloppiness of Professor Anderson and the confusing assignment may also result in poorer result.