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Lecture 8

PSYC 2310 Lecture 8: Lecture 8

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

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Psych Lecture 8
Attitudes and Attribution Across Cultures
February 2nd
*review session next Tuesday & midterm next Thursday
Difficult for us to understand other people’s attitudes
Predicting other people’s behaviour becomes more complicated
Different types of explanations for behaviour
Task difficulty
We focus on diffferent aspects in different societies. Ex. individualistic societies
focus on ability whereas collectivistic societies focus more on effort when they
On average, individualistic societies talk about internal characteristics (it is to do
with you when you succeed) but when we fail, it is due to something out of our
control (i.e. an unfair question on an exam)
Cultures use different explanations for success & failures
Isomorphic attribution (Triandis, 1977)
When the actor has the same attribution about the action as the person who’s
observing it
Ex. Your best friend is in the hospital so you expected response is to visit
If the person perceiving the action expected something different, then the
attribution is different and is not isomorphic attribution
In individualistic cultures, people tend to focus on the individual as detemining the cause
of behaviours
People attribute succcess to ability and failure to external, factors
In collectivistic cultures, people tend to give greater emphasis to external causes of
individual behaviour
People attribute success to help from others and failure to the lack of effort
Collectivist cultures emphasize the group
Zhou Yang got criticized when she didn’t thank the country of China after winning
gold medal
Fundamental Attribution Error (correspondence bias)
Overestimate internal factor rather than external factor
Is is possible that the fundamental attribution error is a uniquely western
Miller (1984)
Participants; American and Asian Indians of varying ages (cross
cultural and cross generational)
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