Attribution theory, judgmental biases, and cognitive behavior modification

Prospects and problems

Brett Hayes, Beryl Hesketh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the prospects and problems of applying theoretical constructs and empirical findings in the area of human attribution and judgmental processes to cognitive behavioral treatment approaches. The widespread existence of biases and judgmental errors among lay people are discussed together with suggestions for the uses of techniques to reduce these biases. Finally, the limitations of attributional retraining and debiasing techniques are highlighted particularly for clients with more severe problems where traditional behavioral and or pharmacological interventions may also be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-230
Number of pages20
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • attributional retraining
  • biased information processing
  • cognitive behavior modification
  • covariation attribution model
  • debiasing techniques

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