22 November 2005

Word of the Day

Fundamental attribution error - A feature of attribution theory, so frequently seen that it has its own name. This refers to the fact that whenever people are making attributions about an action, they tend to over-emphasise dispositional factors about the actor, and under-emphasise situational factors. An example is attributing a friend's recent car accident to the fact that the friend is a poor driver rather than to the fact that another car just happened to pull out in front of her. The former would be a dispositional attribution; the latter a situational attribution.


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