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Fundamental attribution error

In the United States, the predominant culture tends to favor a dispositional approach in explaining human behavior. Why do you think this is? We tend to think that people are in control of their own behaviors, and, therefore, any behavior change must be due to something internal, such as their personality, habits, or temperament. According to some social psychologists, people tend to overemphasize internal factors as explanations—or attributions—for the behavior of other people. They tend to assume that the behavior of another person is a trait of that person, and to underestimate the power of the situation on the behavior of others. They tend to fail to recognize when the behavior of another is due to situational variables, and thus to the person’s state . This erroneous assumption is called the fundamental attribution error    (Ross, 1977; Riggio&Garcia, 2009). To better understand, imagine this scenario: Greg returns home from work, and upon opening the front door his wife happily greets him and inquires about his day. Instead of greeting his wife, Greg yells at her, “Leave me alone!” Why did Greg yell at his wife? How would someone committing the fundamental attribution error explain Greg’s behavior? The most common response is that Greg is a mean, angry, or unfriendly person (his traits). This is an internal or dispositional explanation. However, imagine that Greg was just laid off from his job due to company downsizing. Would your explanation for Greg’s behavior change? Your revised explanation might be that Greg was frustrated and disappointed for losing his job; therefore, he was in a bad mood (his state). This is now an external or situational explanation for Greg’s behavior.

The fundamental attribution error is so powerful that people often overlook obvious situational influences on behavior. A classic example was demonstrated in a series of experiments known as the quizmaster study (Ross, Amabile,&Steinmetz, 1977). Student participants were randomly assigned to play the role of a questioner (the quizmaster) or a contestant in a quiz game. Questioners developed difficult questions to which they knew the answers, and they presented these questions to the contestants. The contestants answered the questions correctly only 4 out of 10 times ( [link] ). After the task, the questioners and contestants were asked to rate their own general knowledge compared to the average student. Questioners did not rate their general knowledge higher than the contestants, but the contestants rated the questioners’ intelligence higher than their own. In a second study, observers of the interaction also rated the questioner as having more general knowledge than the contestant. The obvious influence on performance is the situation. The questioners wrote the questions, so of course they had an advantage. Both the contestants and observers made an internal attribution for the performance. They concluded that the questioners must be more intelligent than the contestants.

Questions & Answers

what is roused
Angel Reply
me
Jose
so if you meet a person for the first time and you are able to tell some characters that the person posses through the body language the person portrays does that count as an observation
Chisom Reply
if you meet a person for the first time and your are able to tell the person some characters that they possess due to the body language they portrayed during some conversations , does that count as an observation
Chisom
if you meet a person for the first time and your are able to tell the person some characters that they possess due to the body language they portrayed during some conversations , does that count as an observation
Chisom
if you meet a person for the first time and your are able to tell the person some characters that they possess due to the body language they portrayed during some conversations , does that count as an observation
Chisom
if you meet a person for the first time and your are able to tell the person some characters that they possess due to the body language they portrayed during some conversations , does that count as an observation
Chisom
30 and above is said to be a large sample test...why do we use t test in projects even though our sample is more than 30
Rajith Reply
If you are asking about why are we not using the Normal Distribution. Having a large sample will minimize the difference between Normal Distribution and a t-test results. Hence using any of them will give you very similar results. You can check this out by viewing both tables with n>30
Fouad
behavioristic approach of personality
Kritika Reply
Are Psychology and Political Science connected? also.. Can a psychologist be a politician?
Tanvi Reply
psychology is considered under social science so yeah I guess
not
yes.. because he can analyze voters mind.. he knows how to motivate them for his political career..
An
for example.. Dr. Rajashekar Reddy.. Ex CM for Andhrapradesh was a doctor.!
An
thank you..I would like to know more about ths from different people!
Tanvi
you've mentally and emotionally made yourself attached and brainwashed wanting their presents and approval of you and your life in their life. rejection is a fickle condition of love and hate
Kim Reply
can I get note on exploratory behavior and curiousity
Irm
why is hard to move on in a relationship
chantel Reply
because my your mind and soul is attached to the person you have been with for a while , so your use to having the person around, so when the person leaves , you feel this emptiness inside of you , that's shows that you attached to the person emotionally that's why it hard for you to move on
Chisom
that's why some times it takes people years to move on because of the bond created between you both
Chisom
psychology study tips..as I find very difficult to understand the content
Faazi Reply
psychology study tips for ma entrance exam..I find very difficult to find the content
Kritika
Why is it so hard to move on after a romantic relationship ends & one is left without any closure?
Dee Reply
It is due to one's reasoning and understanding
joseph
a sort of mental connection doesn't allow detachment for a period of time
Tanisha
what are the symptoms of severe depression
Ramesh Reply
suicidal ideations
Susie
sleep or insomnia, loss of interest in activities that you use to enjoy, feeling hopeless, doomed, suicidal thoughts...
Dee
1. Aside Insomia, hypersomia is also a symptom. There will be excessive sleeping almost everyday. 2. Significant weight loss or gain. 3. Impaired concentration, disorganized thoughts and indecisiveness.
Michael
loss of interests in daily activities
jyothi
Fade up on things around
joseph
pushing people you love away
Chisom
deep thoughts
Chisom
what is legal right
Ramesh Reply
Legal right are those right that are protected by the statutory law
joseph
what are the goal of Psychology
Ruth Reply
The four main goals of psychology are todescribe, explain, predict and control the behavior and mental processes of others
Charmaine
👍yes
bandanamayee
The goal of psychology is to predict, control and explain human behavior.
Vijay
manic. If someone is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but doesn't see it fit because they say they have never been manic, do you think they are right, or do you think they don't realize when they are manic?
kimberly Reply
Thank you for your input! I didn't know other personality disorders could cause mania, I look forward to continuing research
kimberly
I think it's more they don't realise because they don't want to it themselves
Charmaine
Good question. Firstly, some personality disorders also exhibit mania. as a sufferer, you live for the mania, its like your sociable, energy of your 20s on a saturday night thing. plus the best mood ever. thing is youre at your most vulnerable whilst at your most risk taking state.it causes issues
Tu
mental health isnt optional. theres no off and on.
Tu
I not saying there a of on button, am saying sometime it's hard for someone to come to terms that they have , they dont want to believe it
Charmaine
for some a diagnosis is a relief, an explination, a "finally" its a huge moment as at times there is complete ignorance but a lot of questions
Tu
I personally myself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 6 it was a misdiagnosis no one even accounted for the reasons why bipolar wasn't the right fit. I have been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder.
Sarah
same here. how did you feel about the rediagnosis? bpd?
Tu
I am the one who brought it up to the therapist and psychiatrist. I won't deny that I have I actually prefer this diagnosis than bipolar disorder
Sarah
I don't get manic my adhd is what kicks in
Sarah
thank you so much for sharing. im sure its psych porn. but how does acepting your diagnosis feel like to you. i feel mines not correct.
Tu
sadly there isnt much academia surrounding either mania, or personality diagnosed.
Tu
@Tu Verus. I feel that with the acceptance of this diagnosis and knowing that it is correct actually helps me. it helps me understand who I am why I am that way and what I can do to change. if you consistently feel like the diagnosis you have been given is wrong you become less confident.
Sarah
I was manic out In the yard talking in tongues until I took lithium
stephenie
concise. thank you. i hope it fidnt bring to much stress
Tu
lol, didnt.
Tu
Do people know when they are manic?
kimberly Reply
manic or panic?
Diksha
example: feel confident to venture out. manic 1 - good mood 5 wake up in a strange place with either a lot or no money on you, empty bank account, 50 new numbers on your phone and feel great about it manic 5 good mood 5
Tu
i think its panic of people they know if they are confused
Masozi
i believe that it really depends on how well a person knows themselves and whether or not they can identify their symptoms of their diagnosis. I personally panic due to a severe type of anxiety disorder. perception of one's self is important to distinguish otherwise it's speculation.
Sarah
ive learnt signs or situations that the situation is changing. sadly i dont always catch it
Tu
yeah... I agree with you@ Sarah Earing, one has to understand him/herself well enough to know when he/she is panicking..... and one true tell tale sign to know when you are panicking is being nervous, your hands, voice and even the whole body begins to shake... depending on how panicked you feel
Jordan
yes very true also when I panic not only do my hands voice and body shake I have a tendency to become very irritable and my confidence level declines and I usually feel dumb or stupid because I don't know how to respond and react in certain situations.
Sarah
which part of brain is responsible for dreaming pls tell as soon as possible
YASHASVI Reply
pls tell
YASHASVI
brain stem of cortex
jyothi

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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