1. Attribution: hypothesis about the causes of others‟ behavior
2. Social cognition/thinking: thinking about others‟ behavior
3. Biases in thinking about the self
b. Favors self-esteem maintenance (downward social comparison)
c. Self-serving bias
4. Fundamental attribution error
i. Dispositional: internal to the individual (FAE made more
ii. Situational: external aspects of the situation
b. Underestimate situational causes and overestimate the effect of
c. In research: Pps read a speech “written by a college student”
i. Pro/anti Castro and the people thought whatever they wrote
about was their true attitude
d. We tend to find causes where we look for them
e. In 1 rdrson we notice the situation and attribute behavior to it
f. In 3 person we notice the people and attribute behavior to them
5. Kelley‟s Attribution Theory
a. When do we make a situational or a dispositional inference?
i. Consensus – Would others do the same thing?
ii. Distinctiveness – Do they only do it in this situation?
iii. Consistency – Do they do it all the time?
b. Condition 1 is dispositional, 2 and 3 is situational
6. Other influences on Attribution
a. Changing perspectives
i. We can see an individual‟s actions from more of an
environmental perspective over time
ii. We see our own actions as more variable than others‟
b. Cultural differences
7. Culture and Attribution
a. How fundamental is the fundamental attribution error?
i. Not consistent. Not to same extent
ii. In general, people from individualist cultures more vulnerable
to the fundamental attribution error
iii. The Michigan Fish Study (Masuda and Nisbett, 2001)
1. Japanese and American Pps (participants)
2. Flash movies of underwater scenes for 20 seconds,
notice as much as you can