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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter first review the historical context of attribution biases, particularly within the social-information processing framework. They then discuss empirical evidence on relations between attribution biases and externalizing disorders including aggression. The kinds of attribution biases as well as the strength of the influence of such biases vary across disorders, with the strongest relations between hostile attribution biases and aggression. Current research indicates that hostile attribution biases are causal mechanisms in externalizing disorders, especially aggression. They discuss evidence on how hostile attribution biases may develop from early life exposure to harsh environments. Future research on hostile attribution biases will likely investigate underlying biological processes, the role of emotions, and the influence of culture.

Keywords: cognitive biases, social-information processing, attribution biases, hostile attribution bias, aggression, externalizing disorders

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