Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fundamental Attribution Error

"The fundamental attribution error (FAE) is the idea that each of us as an individual is biased toward viewing our behaviors within the context of our circumstances. However, when we view the behaviors of others we attribute their behaviors to who they are as a person or to their character." - Sociology Source

Fundamental attribution, also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect. This phenomenon is seen everywhere in our daily lives. It is human's nature to want to protect themselves, and there are several ways to do that. People tend to provide reasons for their bad behavior, and sympathize with their own situation to make the bad behavior forgivable, then putting down others by blaming their false behaviors. When someone blame other, they also mean that when the same situation comes up, they will do things differently from the wrong ones. It is always easier to say but harder to do.

"Your dog poops on the sidewalk and you realize that you forgot your poop bags. You run home to get a bag and come right back to clean it up. If someone sees you going home, they will automatically think you are an inconsiderate pet parent for leaving your dog’s poop. You know why you left, but the other person does not." - mysanantonio

In society, this phenomenon creates inequality, increases crime and unfair justices, and sets bad examples for children. However, a knowledge of the fundamental attribution error helps individuals to be more effective, humble, and interpersonally gracious to others.

1 comment:

Hye-Jin said...

I like the example of dog owner. It explains the concept of fundamental attribution error very comprehensibly. And I also agree with your statement that fundamental attribution error creates inequality and unfair justices. People tend to criticize others' behaviors by external appearances. And some positive people try to understand the behaviors by guessing their possible situations.
People tend to be able to understand others' situation when they have been in that situation. However, there are a lot of situations individuals have not experienced, therefore can not expect. If someone gives an explanation of his/her unusual behavior, but others can not understand or expect it because they have not experienced that situation, hence blame the person and consider him/her a liar, then it is very unfair. Furthermore, there are laws that makes fundamental attribution error; those things that punish people for the results regardless of their situations.
Sometimes people do unusual things for fair reason. If people try to be understanding to each other and think about the fundamental attribution error, neither of them will be offended.