External attribution is a cognitive process where individuals attribute the causes of behavior to factors outside of the person, such as the situation or environment. When making external attributions, people perceive that behavior is driven by external circumstances, rather than internal traits or qualities. This bias can occur when explaining the actions of oneself or others, and it can impact how individuals understand and interpret behavior.
In the context of an online community, external attribution plays a role in how members interpret and explain the behavior of others. When encountering different actions or responses within the community, individuals may attribute them to situational factors or external influences rather than solely focusing on the personal traits or intentions of the individuals involved. This understanding can help foster empathy and understanding, as it acknowledges that behavior in an online community can be influenced by various external factors such as anonymity, social norms, or the online platform's features. Recognizing the role of external attribution can contribute to a more nuanced and empathetic perspective on behavior within the online community, promoting constructive interactions and reducing conflicts.