Stress Diary Journal Guides                                                       Guide 9: Attributions                   ...
Page 2              Stress Diary Journal                    forgetting her birthday with not     the areas of learning his...
Page 3                                                                                                    Guide 9: Attribu...
Page 4                                 The Stress Diaries we have availableThe Stress Diary JournalThis 4 week programme t...
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Stress diary guide 9. attributions


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Stress diary guide: Making Attributions as simplifying decision making and explaining our behaviors.

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Stress diary guide 9. attributions

  1. 1. Stress Diary Journal Guides Guide 9: Attributions Guide 9: AttributionsStress Diary Journal Making AttributionsYour Guide The intricate process that we go through in order to identify theWhat is an Attribution? causes for ourResearch in attribution theory actions in order to maximize fundamental attribution error" behaviors, theexplores the intricate process ones chances for goal describes the tendency to view behaviors of others,that we go through in order to attainment. too much of someone else’sidentify the causes for our behavior as related to internal and for various lifebehaviors, the behaviors of MAKING ATTRIBUTIONS FOR A factors. For instance, if a events, can beothers, and for various life HEALTHIER ATTITUDE person is fired from a job, we explained as an attemptevents. In attempt to better may think, "That person is to better understandunderstand our environment we Simple Explanations for incompetent," even though wetend to seek out the causes for Others Behavior. could as easily think, "That job our environment . Weour behaviors, the behaviors of A natural human tendency is to was not right for that person." tend to seek out theothers, as well as for any simplify explanations, especially We tend to believe that the causes for ourpertinent events occurring explanations regarding the problems other people have arearound us. When we do this we due to some internal fault or behaviors, the behavior of other people. Evenare making attributions. We science teaches the importance flaw and we tend to behaviors of others, asreceive vital information from of being parsimonious; in other over-estimate the degree of the well as for anythis pursuit of "why?". It has words, don’t use a complex persons responsibility. pertinent eventsbeen stated that becoming explanation when a simple one"experts" on ourselves and our will do. However, many times Complex Explanations for Our occurring around us.environment in this manner is a we over-simplify the cause of Own Behavior.goal in and of itself, referred to behavior, both as individuals Interestingly, we tend to view When we do this we areas the principle of mastery. In and as a science. our own behavior in a more making attributions.this sense, making attributions complex manner: we attributefor behaviors or events can Fundamental Attribution our own failures to externalfunction as a valuable system to Error. In social psychology, a factors and our successes toguide future decisions and concept known as "the internal factors. If we get firedfrom a job, we may think, "My because I’m an incompetent how much of the argument wasboss had it in for me," whereas, idiot." due to the other individualif we get promoted, we may over-simplifying the reasonsthink, "I am intelligent and How These Explanations for your behavior followed byhard-working." Affect Us. your attempts to justify the ‘A stressors has So why is all this important? behavior. You may be surprised a tendency,This concept is even more Because the way we make to see how manycomplex, however, because attributions about behavior disagreements relate to this when takingindividuals disposed to affects relationships and tendency to overlook the hold, todepression think in the opposite self-esteem. If we over-simplify complexities of human behavior. accumulatemanner: they attribute their behavior, we may contribute tofailures to internal flaws and poor self-esteem, or ruin a For example, a woman tells her manifold, untiltheir successes to luck. relationship. Think about a husband that he doesn’t care it is too late!Therefore, in the same situation recent argument you had, about her because he forgotof being fired from a job, they preferably one that focused on about her birthday. In thismay think, "I deserved it your behavior. Now think about example she simply equates
  2. 2. Page 2 Stress Diary Journal forgetting her birthday with not the areas of learning history, attribution that his behavior caring. However, from her current environmental indicated he didn’t care about husband’s view, his forgetting stresses, and biological her. Ill leave it to your may be much more complex. predispositions. None of them imagination what may happen His family of origin may not have anything to do with next in their interaction due to have celebrated birthdays, and whether he cares about his wife her not understanding the so, his concept of the or not. complexity of his behavior. importance of birthdays may be different than his wife’s notion. What makes human behavior Understanding the complexity Or, he may have been even more interesting is that of human behavior doesn’t experiencing a number of the three possibilities mean that we excuse people’s stressful situations that elaborated above may all be behavior; it just means we allow required a great deal of energy. involved in a single behavior. for more complex explanations. Or, the neurological make-up of Thus, the man above may have Such a stance is particularly his brain may not be conducive his background, stress, and crucial in interactions with to remembering dates. genetics working against him in children as they are heavily remembering birthdays. influenced by adults responses. These three possibilities cover But his wife made the simple For instance, if a father the performance of children Environmental Factors. criticizes his son for not paying with ADD led many people to Appreciating the complexities “ Quickly attention in school and choose the simple explanation of human behavior involves attributing a attributes this problem to that the child wasn’t trying. understanding that we are laziness, the boy may begin to Often, we need to look beyond biological beings - that our simple think of himself as lazy. these simple explanations to basic make-up, such as This occurs especially when the see what the real problem may intelligence or disposition, is explanation, child has no alternative be. Quickly attributing a simple part of our genetic coding. can blind us explanation. One possible explanation can blind us to However, that genetic coding is explanation may be that the other possibilities. influenced by our experiences, to other child has Attention Deficit which includes both our possibilities” Disorder (ADD) which is a WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF learning history and our biological condition. However, HUMAN BEHAVIOR? current stresses. For instance, until recently, the variability in an individual may be born with individual for a specific illness. with parents with similar a predisposition to develop an Having a predisposition means problems. Thus, they have both above average intelligence. that the individual has the the genetic coding and the However, poor nutrition and tendency to develop the illness learning from their parents lack of environmental under certain conditions. modeling of irrational thinking stimulation may result in an and behavior. intelligence level that falls However, this explanation also short of the genetic coding. means that the individual will Personality Traits. not develop the disorder or that We can think of many of our Biological Predisposition. the disorder may not be as personality traits in a similar In the area of mental and severe under certain manner. If we take a child with physical disorders, the conditions. a high activity level and put her "diathesis-stress" model for What I have noticed in my prac- in an environment where she illness explains that a tice is that those clients who must sit still and then criticize "diathesis", or predisposition, have the most severe anxiety her when she doesn’t, she may exists within a particular or depression often grew up develop low self-esteem and
  3. 3. Page 3 Guide 9: Attributionsbegin to act in an oppositional behavior without being when a child is screaming forand defiant manner. Whereas, a defensive. your attention, "Hes behavingsimilar child whose energy is this way because he learnedaccepted and directed, may HOW CAN I USE THIS this behavior gets himlearn to focus his activity in a UNDERSTANDING TO BENEFIT attention." By thinking of suchgoal-directed way and feel good MY LIFE? possibilities, it gives you anabout himself. opportunity to respond in a Identify the attribution. First, helpful manner. You mightAs you see, behavior is not as when you find yourself upset by decide to reinforce appropriatesimple as "will-power" or the certain behavior of others, ask behavior and ignore theindividuals fault. As a society, yourself why you are upset. screaming.we need to begin to look atbehavior in it’s complexity If you find yourself blaming the Or in another scenario whereinstead of trying to place blame. other person, such as "Hes someone is ignoring you,This allows us to explore the doing that on purpose," see if instead of taking it personally,behavior less judgmentally. you can think of other possible you might think "Maybe she hasSuch a stance permits the causes of the behavior. For an anxiety disorder that makesindividual to examine his or her instance, you might consider it difficult to talk with people." Ifyou begin to think about other for your behavior, but don’t whether I succeed or not."possibilities such as these, you blame yourself. What I mean by Such an attitude actually allowsmay find it easier to cope with this is to accept the you to accomplish more rather “ If you findsituations and know what to do. consequences resulting from than spending energy to blame yourself blaming your behaviour, but don’t yourself.Recognize the complexity of degrade yourself for making the other person,behavior. Second, if you have mistakes. For instance, if you Recognize the biology of see if you can thinka tendency toward depression, start an exercise program, and need to give yourself a you don’t exercise for a week, Third, recognize the importance of other possiblebreak. Instead of attributing all instead of berating yourself for of biology and accept your causes of theproblems to personal failure, failing, just start again. limitations and the limitationsthink of the complexity of your Tell your-self, "The most of others. Some people are not behaviour”behavior. Take responsibility important thing is trying, not biologically inclined to beOlympic athletes; other people essary to take care ofare not meant to be thin; and ourselves.others are not inclined to be Copyright © 2000 by Monica A.color coordinated. One way to do so is to learn the Frank, Ph.D. andWe have our differences, our skills to manage our lives. All rightstalents, and our limitations. acknowledged.We cannot be perfect in The way we think and cope witheverything. Each of us needs to stress affects not only ouraccept ourselves as we are. mental health, but also, ourBy truly accepting ourselves, we physical health.will also be able to accept otherpeople.As with any illness, it is ourresponsibility to do what is nec-
  4. 4. Page 4 The Stress Diaries we have availableThe Stress Diary JournalThis 4 week programme to complete stress mastery, is an invaluable tool to effectively manage your stress -to gain insight and explore self understanding. The Stress Diary Journal allows you to record your daily stressincidents & to monitor these incidents and analyse them – on a daily basis, for a period of 4 weeks. Divided into4 weekly sections for you to master your stress progressively and more competently, it helps you review yourinitial appraisals, stress responses, your reactions & to identify your stress triggers, to then restructure yourthoughts, your attitude and subsequent behaviours. You will be able to easier identify negative behaviourpatterns, to increase your stress awareness, to learn new coping skills and to let you adapt new & alternativestrategies. You will learn renewed self management skills, inner control, effective goal setting, timemanagement skills, to overcome obstacles and increased perseverance to complete set tasks and to instilnewfound routines, competencies and behaviours. It helps you to know yourself and manage your life morecompletely. This is an invaluable tool to gain unique insight, explore self-understanding, learn stressmanagement skills and effectively manage your stress – in 4 weeks! With a purchase of any of these Diaries, you get full Stress Management Support @ www.stressdiaries.comStress Diary: Daily Recorder JournalA companion guide to the Stress Diary Journal in a handy size to carry about , and for you to easily recordyour daily stress entries. Each Stress entry is individually presented for ease of recording ‘on the go’ and tothen transfer these entries to your Stress Diary Journal, or this Stress Diary Reflection Journal, at theend of your day. Making remembering these Stress incidents/events much easier and keeping you in touchwith managing your stress more effectively. Get a FREE Relaxation Music MP3 ! With your purchase of any of theseStress Diary: Reflection JournalThis Stress Reflection Diary Journal is a companion guide to the Stress Diary/Journal and used as anadditional tool to further enhance your insight and understanding of your stress. You are to choose1 significant Stress Entry per day, from your Stress Diary Journal for the length of your 4 week programme,that you may want to elaborate and focus on. Using the guideline questions and answer spaces that areprovided, and you can add your personal notes or thoughts about your day or progress. Weekly summaries ofyour progress are included, to advance and monitor your progress and by answering these questions andadding your own observations, you will increase your skills at understand, managing your reactions andresponses to your daily stress triggers and stressors. The Reflection Journal is an easy way to record andfocus on how to reflect on your experiences and how you can learn from it.Get these Stress Diary Journals at Copyright ©