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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

January 17, 2013 – PSYCH2310 – LECTURE - SAFDAR, S. Attribution ANSWERING THE ‘WHY’ QUESTION - the difficult case of Patricia Hearst - two viable interpretations: o her behaviour is primarily a function of situation o her behaviour is primarily a function of personal disposition THE LOGIC OF ATTRIBUTION - the attributional equation or the Lewinian equation: o BEHAVIOUR = SITUATION + DISPOSITION - To answer the question “Did Patty Hearst have a disposition to rob the bank?” rearrange the equation: o D = B – S DECISION RULE - discounting principle: o the observer should not conclude that a person had a unique disposition to behave when the person does exactly what the situation pushes him or her to do. o The observer should conclude that a person has a unique disposition to behave when:  The person does the opposite of what the situation pushes him or her to do  There is no situational push at all THE CORRESPONDENCE BIAS - correspondence bias or fundamental attribution error: o tendency to correspond a person’s behaviour to personal disposition when the behaviour can be attributed to the situation o eg. waitress: what do you want?  Is the waitress having a bad day or is she a bitch?  Our fundamental attribution error is our first judgment, which is that we think she is a bitch. WANTING DISPOSITIONS - correspondence bias gives a sense of control through: o dispositionist worldview o prediction of others’ behaviour MISUNDERSTANDING SITUATIONS - correspondence bias creates a tendency to underestimate situational power because: o situations
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