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6. Discuss two errors in attributions.
  1. Types of error you can choose to discuss: Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE), Modesty Bias, Illusory Correlation.
    Do define what attribution is and what are situational and dispositional factors.
  2. FAE
    When people overestimate the role of dispositional factors in an individual’s behaviour and underestimate the situational factors.
    This error is so common because some psychologists argue that it is because people tend to think of themselves as adaptable, flexible and ever-changing human beings. They do not think of themselves as a ‘type’ of person.
    Experiment: Lee et al. Host show
    -ve points: 1. Students may view professors as high in authority and those who ask the questions are more ‘smarter’. 2. Students are not representatives of the greater population. (Not suitable sample population)
    Experiment: Jones and Harris -> Fidel Castro’s rule in Cuba Essays
    -ve point: (Contradiction) Miller found that Indian-Hindus took situational factors when explaining actions when someone did something wrong, juxtaposing how FAE applies to Americans. (Cultural differences… only emic - concerning one culture not all)
  3. Actor-observer effect: Making an attribution about behaviour that depends on whether they are performing it themselves or observing someone else doing it.
    Experiment: Jones and Nisbett
  4. Self-serving Bias (SSB): When people take credit or their successes, attributing them to dispositional factors, and dissociate themselves from their failures, attributing them to situational factors.
    : Lau and Russel - American football coaches and players tended to credit wins to internal (hard work) and fails to external (injuries).
    Cognitive factors could play a role in SSB and according to Miller and Ross (1975), we usually expect to succeed at a task. If we expect to succeed and do succeed, we attribute to our skill and ability. If we expect to succeed and do not, we feel it was due to external factors. Also, if we expect to fail, and fail, we attribute it to dispositional factors. If we expect to fail and succeed, we attribute our success to external factors and luck.
  5. Modesty bias: When a person fails, they attribute it to dispositional factors.
    Experiment: Kashima and Triandis and Chandler et al.
  6. Halim and Chew (2008)
    - Something to show why we need to repeat studies due to globalization and because results are always changing.

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