changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Covariation Model

 

Explanations > Theories > Covariation Model

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

When explaining other people’s behaviors, we look for similarities (covariation) across a range of situations to help us narrow down specific attributions. There are three particular types of information we look for to help us decide, each of which can be high or low:

  • Consensus: how similarly other people act, given the same stimulus, as the person in question.
  • Distinctiveness: how similarly the person acts in different situations, towards other stimuli.
  • Consistency: how often the same stimulus and response in the same situation are perceived.

People tend to make internal attributions when consensus and distinctiveness are low but consistency are high. They will make external attributions when consensus and distinctiveness are both high and consistency is still high. When consistency is low, they will make situational attributions.

People are often less sensitive to consensus information.

Example

If a manager yells at a person, we assume it is his nature if he is the only person to yell at that person (low consensus), he yells at other people too (low distinctiveness) and he yells at them often. However, if everyone else gets cross with the same person (high consensus) and the manager does not yell at other people (high distinctiveness), we assume it is something external—probably the person being yelled at. Finally, if the manager has not yelled at the person before, we assume that something unusual has happened (situational attribution).

So what?

Using it

Use this to help understand how others are thinking. 

See also

Attribution Theory, Correspondent Inference Theory

References

Kelley (1967)

|zk|awa|dp|

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Links | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
Brand management
* Change Management
Coaching
+ Communication
Counseling
+ Game Design
+ Human Resources
+ Job-finding
* Leadership
+ Marketing
Politics
+ Propaganda
+ Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
Sociology
+ Storytelling
+ Teaching
* Warfare
Workplace design

Techniques

+ Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
+ Conversation
Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
+ Happiness
+ Hypnotism
+ Interrogation
* Language
+ Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
+ Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
+ Questioning
+ Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
+ Self-development
+ Sequential requests
Stress Management
* Tipping
Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

+ Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
+ Beliefs
* Brain stuff
Conditioning
+ Coping Mechanisms
+ Critical Theory
+ Culture
+ Decisions
* Emotions
+ Evolution
Gender
+ Games
Groups
+ Identity
+ Learning
+ Meaning
Memory
+ Motivation
+ Models
* Needs
+ Personality
+ Power
* Preferences
+ Research
+ Relationships
+ SIFT Model
+ Social Research
Stress
+ Trust
+ Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

- About
- Guest Articles
- Blog!
- Books
- Changes
- Contact
- Guestbook
- Links
- Quotes
- Students
- Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

Changing Minds 2002-2014
Massive Content -- Maximum Speed