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Making Attributions

ctivity #4: Making Attributions (Check the At a Glance graph at the top of page 150)

Directions: This activity will heighten your awareness of how different kinds of attributions affect meaning.

First read the scenario and then write down the first thing that comes to your mind to explain why it might have happened. After you go through and write your first reaction as to why the situation happened, go back and write an alternative reason.

1. Although you know your roommate didn’t study for a Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science midterm, s/he gets an A.

Why?

Alternate

explanation:_______________________________________________________

2. You’re having lunch with a good friend and another student you have only met once before briefly. The student you don’t know well makes a racist joke. Explain why the student thought it was funny.
Why?____________________________________________________________

Alternate

explanation:_______________________________________________________

3. You are not accepted to a graduate program you wanted to attend.
Why? ____________________________________________________________

Alternate

explanation:_______________________________________________________

4. Coming back to your room late one night, you trip and fall.

Why?____________________________________________________________

Alternate

explanation:_______________________________________________________

After creating alternative attributions, consider how the different explanations affect your interpretation of the scenario. How does it affect your opinion of yourself or the person in question? Does your opinion change after each reason?

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