If we analyze the etymology of the term attribution , we must go to the language Latina and her word attributio. It is called attribution to act of attributing : indicate the competence of something, assign qualities or properties to a thing or someone.
The idea Attribution is usually used with respect to the powers that an entity has according to the regulations that govern its operation. For example: “Budget control is an attribution of this commission”, "Direct hiring of employees is not an attribution of legislators", “I have the power to suspend you and even to say goodbye: I recommend that you start paying attention to my instructions if you don't want to have problems”.
An attribution also consists of impute a work or an action to a person, stating that he is responsible. Many times the attributions are made in the wrong way and erroneously point to the author in question.
Suppose a journalist attributes the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” , written by the Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez , to the Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa . Upon warning of the ruling, another journalist comments: “You were wrong in the attribution: 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' is a book by García Márquez, not Vargas Llosa ”.
This type of errors usually occurs with respect to old works, especially those that were written when the publishing world did not have a solid organization. In fact, in some cases it cannot be pointed out with certainty to the author, but it is deduced after deep investigations carried out by specialists who analyze both the literary style of the work and the context historical and the data they have of the writers of the time.
In the field of Social psychology , the notion of attribution theory to refer to how the human being evaluates his behavior and the behavior of other individuals.
The principal author of the attribution theory was the psychologist Fritz Heider, and it can be seen in his book entitled "The psychology of interpersonal relationships", where he presented it as a useful method to evaluate the perception of the aforementioned behavior.
If we go deeper into his theory, it is not only a way of studying the way in which we explain our behavior and the alien but also the events of life. This is what social psychology refers to with the name attributive process, and in this context Heider explains that we tend to relate the foreign behavior to one of two possible causes: external (context, an act of a third subject, chance, etc.) or internal (intelligence, personality, motivation, etc.).
Attribution theory recognizes the following elements:
* internal or external locus : This is a property that Heider relates to our self-esteem. For example, people who make internal attributions to their own achievements earn in self esteem and motivation, while those who attribute their failures to personal issues suffer a considerable loss of self-esteem. The locus is considered external when the result does not depend on the subject, but is due to external factors;
* stability : This concept refers to the assessment made by the subject of the state that the problem he is facing presents over time. If you attribute your failure to issues that you consider stable, such as the difficulty of a subject of study, your motivation of achievement;
* controllability : in this case it does not matter how stable the problem is over time, but if the subject has the possibility of controlling the factors related to it, whether or not they depend on their actions. For example, if someone attributes their failure to their supposed bad luck , then decreases your motivation for achievement.