Researchers have classified attributions into internal vs. external and stable vs. unstable categories. Scholars can categorize a certain attribution as internal-stable, internal-unstable, external-stable, or external-unstable by integrating the two characteristic variables.
- Internal vs. External: According to attribution theory, individuals can categorize their explanations for actions and occurrences as either internal or external. People infer that an occurrence or a person's actions are caused by personal qualities like traits, talents, or sentiments when they use an internal, or dispositional, attribution. People assume that a person's conduct is caused by situational conditions when they use an external, or situational, attribution.
- Stable vs. Unstable: Psychologists additionally distinguish between attributions that are stable and those that are unstable. When individuals attribute anything to stable, unchangeable variables, they are implying that an occurrence or action is as a result of those elements. When they make an unstable attribution, they imply that an event or action is caused by unstable, transient causes.
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