Fundamental attribution error
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior of others. It does not explain interpretations of one's own behavior—where situational factors are often taken into consideration. This discrepancy is called the actor–observer bias.
As a simple example, if Alice saw Bob trip over a rock and fall, Alice might consider Bob to be clumsy or careless (dispositional). If Alice tripped over the same rock herself, she would be more likely to blame the placement of the rock (situational).
- The related concept of Explanatory style is a major component of the theories of learned helplessness and learned optimism pioneered by Martin Seligman.
- Cognitive bias
- Actor–observer asymmetry
- Attributional bias
- Defensive attribution hypothesis
- False consensus effect
- Group attribution error
- Just-world phenomenon
- List of cognitive biases
- Locus of control
- Ultimate attribution error