By Philip C. Kendall and Steven D. Hollon (Eds.)

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Consequently, an important aspect of Beck's cognitive therapy for depression consists of ' 'reattributional " techniques in which a depressed patient is encouraged to consciously and deliberately consider more benign, and presumably more realistic, alternative attributions for a failure. Thus, clinical intuition and observation is in accord with contemporary cognitive theories that feature a distinction between automatic and deliberate modes of processing information. Summary In summary, our perspective on the attribution process emphasizes that people draw upon situational information as well as generalized beliefs and motivations to resolve ambiguity about the causes of events in their lives.

Metalsky and Lyn Y. Abramson psychological approach to attributional inferences is not incompatible with cognitive work emphasizing that, in part, people's inferences about present events are guided by old information. In contrast to situational information, generalized beliefs or schémas relevant to resolving causal ambiguity often represent generalized hypotheses or personal theories about the self, other people, and the world. In the same way that a scientific theory integrates a wide variety of observations and makes predictions about future observations, personal theories or schémas integrate people's life experiences and deduce explanations for what has happened in the past as well as expectations about what will happen in the future (see also Markus, 1977 for a discussion of selfschemata).

For example, Bartlett found that people recalled the sentence, The Indian has been hit as, He had been wounded by an arrow. In the tradition of Binet, Henri, and Bartlett, contemporary cognitive psychologists emphasize that people often ' 'go beyond the information given ' ' in perceiving events and comprehending sentences and passages. Consider the sentence, The Smiths saw the Rocky Mountains while they were flying to California. Undoubtedly, most readers interpret this sentence to mean that while the Smiths were flying to California, they saw the Rocky Mountains.

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