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Differentiating between attributional biases
Chloe_2125
#1 Posted : Sunday, June 20, 2021 1:33:51 AM
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Hi,

I am having difficulty differentiating between fundamental attribution error, actor-observer bias, and self-serving bias. Does anyone have any good ways of remembering the difference between these terms?
INSTR_Kennedy_135
#2 Posted : Monday, June 21, 2021 3:41:16 PM
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Hello,

I think being able to connect the terms with examples should help to deepen understanding to remember.

Fundamental attribution error is when people under-estimate situational and environmental factors, so what people do reflects who they are. For instance, if you've ever chastised a "lazy employee" for being late to a meeting and then proceeded to make an excuse for being late yourself that same day, you've made the fundamental attribution error.

Actor-observer bias is the tendency to attribute one's own actions to external causes while attributing other people's behaviors to internal causes. It is a type of attributional bias that plays a role in how we perceive and interact with other people. For example, in a situation where a person experiences something negative, the individual will often blame the situation or circumstances.

A self-serving bias is the common habit of a person taking credit for positive events or outcomes, but blaming outside factors for negative events. For example: A student gets a good grade on a test and tells herself that she studied hard or is good at the material. She gets a bad grade on another test and says the teacher doesn't like her or the test was unfair. Athletes win a game and attribute their win to hard work and practice.

Hope this helps!
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