The development of social attributions: An integration of probability and logic

Debra C. Eisert, Lynn R. Kahle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A descriptive account of social attribution development is presented, based upon a review of the pertinent literature. Research on the development of probability and logical concepts is briefly reviewed, and the relevance of these concepts for attribution development is discussed. A dialectical chronology of attribution development is proposed, based on the relative predominance of logical and probability concepts at each level. Three levels are proposed: Preoperational subjectivism, operational objectivism, and operational subjectivism. Although other researchers have discussed the contributions of cognitive development to attribution and person perception, here the role of probabilistic thinking has been incorporated into the model. The importance of the model for understanding misattribution and genetic epistemology is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-81
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986


  • Attribution
  • Development, cognitive
  • Impression formation
  • Reasoning, inductive-deductive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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