Anderson, C.A., Krull, D. S., & Weiner, B. (1996). 

Explanations: Processes and consequences. (pp. 271-296)

Chapter in E.T. Higgins & A.W. Kruglanski (Eds.). 

Social psychology: A handbook of basic principles.

NY: Guilford Press. 

Summary 

In considering explanation, two aspects must be accounted for: the process, or how an explanation is reached, and the content, or what are the ingredients and the significance of explanations. In this chapter, we address these issues with the goal of providing the most general and viable theoretical analysis. The first part of this chapter focuses on the explanation process. What are the steps or stages that people typically go through in generating or affirming a particular explanation for a particular event? What factors influence the various stages? The second part of the chapter then focuses on the components and consequences of explanations. What effect does adopting a particular explanation for a particular event have on the explainer? What effect does it have on his or her beliefs about others in the phenomenal field, their feelings, and actions? And what explanatory themes mediate these consequences?

© 1996 by the Guilford Press, Inc.

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