This article presents a formal model that decomposes the attribution of personal dispositions into identification and dispositional inference processes. The model assumes that identification processes initially represent the incoming stimulus information in terms of meaningful attribution-relevant categories. The results of the identification process serve as input for dispositional inference processes wherein causal schemata guide the inference of personal dispositions. Two illustrative experiments trace the processing of behavioral and situational information at the identification and dispositional inference stages and examine attributions as a joint product of the different stages. The discussion of these experiments and previous relevant research demonstrates that the proposed model can help reconcile conflicting findings in the literature, reveal new attributional phenomena, and improve our understanding of the cognitive processes that produce self- and other-attribution.
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