Fundamental Attribution Error

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One of the concepts that we have learned this past semester is the fundamental attribution error, which is over valuing dispositional or personality based behaviors for an observed behavior and under valuing situational explanations for that behavior. This is one concept that I can see myself remembering for the next five years to come. I believe I will remember this concept because it was one that I really related to my own life. I am definitely guilty of doing this a multitude of times and I would hope now that after learning about it I will be able to keep myself from jumping to conclusions about someone's personality. This will be a useful characteristic in creating new relationships with people because it will keep me from assuming something about their personality that would otherwise keep me from giving them a second chance. It is true that first impressions are everything, but perhaps we all jump to conclusions too quickly on the first impressions we get. If everyone were to take the fundamental attribution error into account, I believe it would keep everyone from making quick assumptions and allow for everyone to be rightfully judged.

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The fundamental attribution error (FAE) is one of those things I learned about that I did not know existed, because I've never observed it or thought about it. I live very much so "in the moment," so first impressions don't impress upon me as much as I think most people. It would be interesting to see the correlation between FAE making, how much first impressions matter, and love at first sight verses people who want to be friends first before dating. I think that the people who believe in love at first sight would place more emphasis on first impressions and make more FAEs in judging people than would "rational" people. :)

I completely agree with you that it often seems like many people, myself included, make judgements too quickly about others. The fundamental attribution error explains this tendency and it's important to recognize that a person's actions are not always results of their personality. The situation has an enormous influence on how people behave and if more people remember this, it will definitely make us more empathetic and likely to give other people more chances.

I think bottom line is to keep an open mind when meeting people. There is always more than what the eye can see and it's simply important to keep that in mind when meeting people, while not really forgetting the first impression.

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This page contains a single entry by etoxx006 published on April 30, 2012 6:07 PM.

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