Discuss Two Errors in Attribution

Topics: Social psychology, Psychology, Cognitive bias Pages: 3 (731 words) Published: July 27, 2010
Attribution biases are biases that affect the way we determine who and what is responsible for an event or action. It links closely to social cognition, for example, the role of mind in our social behavior, how our thoughts are influenced by social situations, and how our thoughts influence social behavior. Attribution biases are based on situational and dispositional factors. Situational factors are something to so with personal factors, and dispositional factors are something to do with external factors. These examples also link to the principles of the sociocultural level of analysis, human beings are social animal and culture influences behaviors.

Fundamental attribution error (FAE) means people tend to overestimate dispositional factors and underestimate situational factors when they witness an event or action. This is because when people consider their behavior, they would think they have acted differently under different circumstances, and sometimes they do not have enough information of the event to make a balance judgment or decision, so they attribute behavior to disposition.

There are supporting evidences for fundamental attribution errors, for example, the Jone Et Al study. The method of this experiment is that some students read aloud an essay, and students listening to it were told that this essay wasn’t the student’s own work. The finding is that students still assumed to have opinions of essay read out, therefore attribution essay to dispositional factors, it is because they were only told that “It was not the students own work”, the students have not taken into account the situational.

Lee Et Al’s study also supports fundamental attribution errors. It is a simply lab experiment, participants are separated into 3 groups, game host, contestants and audiences. Then audiences watch the game show and were asked to rank if the game show host or the contestant on intelligence. The finding is that game show host was attributed to be the most...
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