Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fundamental Attribution Error

In this article, the authors make three distinct arguments. Firstly, social psychologists have not shown that disposition in general is significantly less important than laypeople believe them to be. Secondly, social psychologists have demonstrated that certain dispositions are less important and that other dispositions are more important than previously realized. Lastly, social psychologists have gathered evidence that suggests that avoiding embarrassment and saving face are more important to Americans than had been previously recognized. The article then describes the Milgram experiment on obedience to authority. The authors argue that the experiment did not demonstrate that dispositional or internal forces are weak relative to environmental forces. Rather, they suggest that specific aspects of a situation and the specific motives those aspects engage in exert more control over behavior than do other specific aspects of situations and the motives they engage in. The article continues further describes conformity, bystander intervention, cognitive dissonance, and other FAE studies.

-Shao Chien Lin (Tim Lin)

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