Kelley’s Covariation Model of Attribution : Examples, Behavior Prediction

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Kelley’s Covariation Model of Attribution: Kelley’s Covariation model of attribution is one of the major concern of the social psychologist. The Kelley’s Covariation Model of Attribution states that cause that will be chosen to explain an effect is a cause that is present when the effect is present, and absent when the effect is also absent. Covariation model is the key predictor of the behavior of the human being. The social psychologist has a keen interest in predicting the behavior of the model through social influence. Harold Kelley is the social psychologist who discovers the covariation model of attribution in 1967.

Kelley's Covariation Model of Attribution, covariation, covariation example, distinctiveness, consistency, consensus

Kelley’s Covariation Model of Attribution

What is Kelley’s Covariation Principle?

Kelley covariation principle states that the cause and effect relationship can be used to predict the behavior of the people. The attribution theory help in social psychology for predicting the behavior of the people. The covariation principle also helps social psychologist in research about why do individual behave in a certain way.

Covariation of Cause and Effect

According to the cause and effect illustration of the covariation theory, every action or every thought compromises of some cause behind it. The covariation of cause and effect help in observing the behavior on a specific occasion. The covariation of cause and effect states that three instances would be helpful in predicting the behavior of the individual:

  1. Consensus
  2. Consistency
  3. Distinctiveness

1. Distinctiveness

Kelley's Covariation Model of Attribution, covariation, covariation example, distinctiveness, consistency, consensus

Distinctiveness refers to the occurrence of the same behavior occurs in relation to stimuli or other people. It shows the weirdness in any particular situation. The distinctiveness is high when the people behave in a distinct manner as they act in all the situation.

E.g: If your friend Sam is calm and loving and if at any given particular instance Sam is arrogant and angry then it shows the high distinctiveness of the situation.

In the arrogance of Sam, he acts in a complete different way in the normal days but some situation causes to allow him to be arrogant and angry. The emotions don’t come from inside that’s why the scenarios come under the dispositional causes.

2. Consensus

Consensus may the new term for you. The consensus is defined as the degree to which other people react similarly in the same situation. We will try to understand the concept of consensus in Kelley’s covariation model of attribution.

Suppose you reach the office in a particular late by two hours. You are in a hurry because there is an important presence in the office. But when you reach the office what you may find that none of the staff reach the office on time.

At this time you will co-variate yourself with the situation of others like there were a traffic jam or heavy raining on the way etc.

The circumstances decide the covariation of the same behavior in other in the covariation model of attribution.

3. Consistency

Consistency is the third implication of Kelley’s covariation model of attribution. Consistency decides to which degree doer behave the same way in the variant situations.

e.g Your best friend is Sam and you both have a friendship of 5 years. you know the basic nature of Sam as calm, friendly and intelligent.

Always Sam shows this behavior in that situation where he may be warm from inside but he follows the inner behavior. The situation is an example of a situational attribution. The behavior comes from inside and internal structure, schema, and prototypes.

What is Covariance psychology?

Kelley's Covariation Model of Attribution, covariation, covariation example, distinctiveness, consistency, consensus

Covariance psychology is the scientific study of predicting the behavior of people through cause and effect relationship in Kelley’s Covariation Model of Attribution. The three evidence combine together to find out the cause of particular behavior to people.

The three pieces of evidence in the covariation model are

  1. Consensus
  2. Distinctiveness
  3. Consistency

The three types of causes to show a particular behavior:

Circumstances: We are well aware of the circumstances. Current circumstances are the current environment around ourselves which we can’t ignore.

Entity: The second person in the whole act on which covariation is applied.

Actor: The actor is the hero of the film. The actor is the person whom behavior we are observing through covariation principle of attribution.

Personal Attribution  = Low Distinctiveness, High Consistency, Low Consensus 
Stimulus Attribution = High Distinctiveness, High Consensus, High Consistency
Circumstance Attribution = Low Distinctiveness, High Consensus,  Low Consistency 

Who is Harold Kelley?

The social psychologist has a keen interest in predicting the behavior of the model through social influence. Harold Kelley is the social psychologist who discovers the covariation model of attribution in 1967.

Harold Kelley also suggests that we make attribution according to the situational factors or the dispositional factors.

What is Covariation? Covariation definition

Covariation is defined as the correlated variation in two or more variables. In the covariation model of attribution, we distinguish the behavior of the people according to the distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus.

 

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