Fundamental Attribution Error

The fundamental attribution error is an important
concept in psychology.  Thus, it is important to define
the fundamental attribution error.  What is the
fundamental attribution error?  Below is one definition
of the fundamental attribution error.

Fundamental Attribution Error Definition:

The fundamental attribution error occurs when we
overestimate how much another person's behavior can
be explained by dispositional factors. It reflects failing
to adequately consider the role of some situational
factors that may affect a person's behavior.

Fundamental Attribution Error Example:

Imagine you are taking a college course.  You observe
that there is a student in the class that has been very
quiet during the entire term.  The student does not even
talk during the class discussions.  You conclude that the
student is a very quiet and shy person.  In this example,
it is possible that we may wrongly assume that the
student's quiet behavior reflects his or her personality,
and we may fail to adequately consider some situational
factors that could explain the student's behavior.  For
example, we may not consider that the person may find
the course very boring, or the person is experiencing
difficulty and does not feel like talking in class.
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