Navigate through the Everyday Psychology Interactive. Once you have completed the interactive scenario, return to Brightspace to answer the following questions:
What is the fundamental attribution error?
Who developed and tested this theory?
Give examples of how it could be applied to a real-life situation.
In what ways have you used this mode of thinking in your life? Were your appraisals correct?
Explain your reasoning.
Use research from the Shapiro Library to support your claims. To complete this assignment, review the Graduate Discussion Rubric document.

ORDER THIS ESSAY HERE

Sample Answer

What is the fundamental attribution error?

The Fundamental Attribution Error refers to a limited way of thinking where the behavior of a person is attributed to their personality while ignoring situational factors that could be the real cause (Moran, Jolly, & Mitchell, 2014). In this case, people tend to put more emphasis on personality-based explanations for behaviors of an individual while putting little emphasis on situational factors. In the fundamental attribution error, the social and environmental forces that may cause a person’s behavior are not considered. Although it does not necessarily mean that every behavior is caused because of the external situation, people are usually too quick to link a person’s behavior in terms of their personality. As such, this way of explaining behaviors of others implies that our judgment may be wrong (Moran et al., 2014).

Who developed and tested this theory?

The theory of fundamental attribution error was developed and tested by psychologist Lee Ross in 1977 (Moran et al., 2014). Ross argued that people tend to see others as internally responsible for their behavior. According to Ross, part of the reason people associate another person’s behaviors to his or her personality is that they lack detailed information about what causes his or her behavior (Moran et al., 2014).

 Give examples of how it could be applied to a real-life situation.

When a person cut off while driving, people are too quick to label him or her as a bad driver who has no regard for anyone on the road. However, when you cut off another person in traffic, you may find yourself giving excuses to validate your actions. In other words, when people judge other driver’s behavior to his or her personality, they tend to blame external factors to their own actions.

In what ways have you used this mode of thinking in your life?

When in traffic, I often get annoyed when a driver cut me off. I am usually too quick to consider their behaviors as unacceptable, and I label them as irresponsible drivers. In this case, I do not find possible explanations that would have caused the driver’s behavior other than their personality.

Were your appraisals correct? Explain your reasoning.

No, judging a person’s behavior in terms of their personality may be wrong. There are often some situational factors that cause a person’s behavior. For instance, when a person buys a lot of crackers in the supermarket, it does not necessarily mean that they love crackers; rather, it may imply that they found that the crackers are sold at low prices.

References

Moran, J. M., Jolly, E., & Mitchell, J. P. (2014). Spontaneous mentalizing predicts the       fundamental attribution error. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 26(3), 569-576.