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Attributional Style

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Updated February 25, 2006

Definition: This refers to how people explain the events of their lives. There are three facets of how people can explain a situation that can lean toward optimism or pessimism:
  • Stable vs. Unstable: Changing across time or unchanging across time.
  • Global vs. Local: Universal throughout one’s life or specific to a part of one’s life.
  • Internal vs. External: Cause of an event as within oneself or outside oneself.

Read about positive and negative explanatory styles.

Also Known As: Explanatory Style
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