A Schematic Model of Dispositional Attribution is a theoretical framework that seeks to explain how individuals make inferences about the internal characteristics or traits of others based on their observed behavior. It proposes that people engage in a systematic process of assigning dispositional attributions by utilizing various cognitive schemas or mental frameworks.


In the context of dispositional attribution, schemas refer to organized sets of knowledge and beliefs about personality traits, characteristics, and behavior patterns. These schemas act as cognitive templates that individuals use to interpret and evaluate the behavior of others.

Dispositional Attribution:

Dispositional attribution is the process by which individuals attribute a person’s behavior to their internal characteristics or traits. It involves inferring that someone’s behavior is a result of their underlying disposition, personality, attitudes, or beliefs rather than due to external factors such as situational constraints.

Information Processing:

The schematic model suggests that when making dispositional attributions, individuals engage in a systematic information processing approach. They assess the relevant situational cues, integrate them with their existing schemas, and generate an attribution about the person’s disposition based on this cognitive processing.

Attribution Biases:

This model also acknowledges the existence of various attribution biases that can influence the attribution process. These biases include the fundamental attribution error (tendency to overemphasize dispositional factors and underestimate situational factors), actor-observer bias (explaining others’ behavior differently than our own), and self-serving bias (attributing our successes to dispositional factors and failures to external factors).


The schematic model of dispositional attribution has important implications in various fields, including social psychology, communication, and conflict resolution. Understanding how individuals attribute behavior to internal characteristics can help explain interpersonal judgments, prejudice formation, and aid in designing effective communication strategies to minimize attribution biases and enhance understanding between individuals.