The Daily Decision-35-Fundamental attribution error
Hello Hello This is Dr. Z, Zachary Brooks, with The Daily Decision
because you want to make better decisions.
Today is the THIRTIETH-FIFTH episode of The Daily Decision
Your teacher returns assignments you and to the other students seated to the left and to the right of you. To the left you see a big “A” circled. To the right you see a big “D” circled.
What do you think?
If you’re like most people (and you are), you are likely to ascribe good behaviors to the person receiving an A and bad behaviors to the person receiving a C.
Why is that? It’s based on attribution theory which the tendency to explain someone’s behavior in terms of personality or situation. In this case, you would say their good grades have to do with their personality.
But what if you found out later that the person who received the A cheated and the person who received the D just had a death in the family?
How would you feel then?
If you noticed that you switched your explanations from personality to the situation, you’ve made the mistake most of us do which is to make the fundamental attribution error.
It’s hard for me to accept that someone who cuts me off in traffic because the easy thought is that the driver is a bad person.
But maybe they are having a bad day. Could it be?
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As always, Happy Deciding.
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