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Two attributional biases with evidence

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Introduction

Discuss at least two attributional biases, refer to evidence in your answer (10) Attribution is judging the causes of behaviour, the decision is made that behaviour is caused by internal factors OR external factors. A dispositional attribution is made when we can decide that someone's behaviour is due to their personality or an internal cause. This means that the behaviour is seen as an outward manifestation of an inward quality. A situational attribution is made when we decide that someone's behaviour is the result of the situation or the circumstances which they find themselves in. This means that the cause is external or beyond the control of the person. In social psychology, the actor is the person producing the behaviour and the observer is the watcher of the behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

he found that the answers made about the friends behaviour were dispositional (due to the friends personality) the answers for their own behaviours were situational rather than dispositional. This suggests that we make fundamental attribution error and assume the behaviour of others - even people we know are due to their disposition or personality rather than circumstance. The study is quite high in ecological validity as it is performed in real life situations (asking why themselves or a friend has done a specific university course is a common question in everyday life). There are cultural and developmental variations. Young children in western cultures explain actions in concrete, situational terms and only make attributions later on in childhood. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that we tend to deny responsibility for poor outcomes but accept it for good performances. The study involved real teachers explaining performances of their own pupils and therefore the results are valid and support the fact what bias can be found. However, the sample of participants was biased. It is not known if such findings can be generalised to other teachers and people. Some research is found by using experienced rather than student teachers failed to produce consistent findings. Another application of this bias is to explain why depressed people think in the way that they do. Abrahamson suggested that the thinking of depressed people is the opposite of a self-serving bias where good things that happen have situational causes (it was beyond my control) but bad things = dispositional (it's my fault) Therapy involves challenging this thinking and has been found to be extremely effective. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

The student makes their response explicit by beginning with a clear introduction which defines and explains the main ideas/terms in the essay question (in this case, attribution). This shows the reader that they understand the idea or theory behind the ...

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Response to the question

The student makes their response explicit by beginning with a clear introduction which defines and explains the main ideas/terms in the essay question (in this case, attribution). This shows the reader that they understand the idea or theory behind the question and enables the reader to be settled into the writer's frame of mind (rather than throwing them straight into the argument).

Level of analysis

The writer answers the questions by referring to evidence. The argument is clearly laid out, with each attribution error being stated and explained, and then the next paragraph provides evidence for it. They also then analyse this evidence, (for example by explaining that a study asking students about their university course has good ecological validity, and why this is advantageous). To add, the student gives time to both sides of the arguments by also saying what is bad about the evidence (in this case, biased sampling). It is important to do this as it shows they have considered and analysed rather than blindly accepting a theory.

Quality of writing

The grammar, spelling, and punctuation are flawless. In criticism, I would like to see a conclusion drawn at the end (this could merely repeat what the two biases are and say that some evidence supports them). This would add to the structure and is conventional in essay-writing at A level standard and beyond. Apart from this, the structure is very clear (Intro - bias 1 - evidence and analysis - bias 2 - evidence and analysis).


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