Emotional Wellbeing



Mandy Kloppers

What’s your attributional style?



What’s your attributional style?

We all assign meaning to things that happen to us and we tend to have habitual ways of doing this. Some of us lean towards a more negative attributional style and some of us tend to be more positive. Many depressed people possess a negative attributional style – when something positive happens to them, due to their tendency to engage in negative thinking, they see the positive event as being due to luck. When something negative happens – they tend to believe that this is due to their own failings.

An optimist on the other hand, will attribute positive things being due to their own strengths and will see negative things as beyond their control and as bad luck.

There are 3 types of attributional styles:

external (something beyond my control) vs internal (within my control)

stable (will be this way forever) vs temporary (will not lost)

global (a generalisation: I am always hopeless) vs specific (I am not so good at cooking rather than I am not so good at everything)

Positive people tend to attribute positive events to stable, internal and global causes and negative events to external, specific and temporary causes.

The more you feel in control of your choices and your life and feel that setbacks are temporary, the happier you are likely to be. Keep an eye on your attributional style and always be willing to challenge the way you assign meaning to positive and negative events in your life.

Mandy X