What is attribution in psychology?

Attribution is a term describing the inferences people make when trying to explain the causes of certain events, the behavior of others, or their own behavior. Because these inferences are based not only on objective facts but also on our mental state, emotions, and past experiences, attributions can be distorted and lead to bias.

An example of such bias is hostile attribution bias, or the tendency to attribute negative intentions to others, especially when their intentions are unclear.