• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Psychology. Discuss two errors in attributions.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Aneesha Bhandari Psychology Discuss two errors in attributions. People do not passively observe their own actions and others, they attempt to work it out and explain it. Attribution is a concept in Social Psychology, addressing the processes by which individual explains the causes of behavior in situations. But they are two different kinds of attributes to behavior: 1. Dispositional causes: When attributing the cause of a person?s behavior to their internal characteristic we are making a dispositional attribution. The term disposition refers to somebody?s belief, personality etc. 2. Situational causes: When one attributes a person?s behavior to external factors, reinforcement, both positive or negative, in a social setting we are making a situational attribution. Attribution decisions about the individuals or another?s behavior is not always made in a logical or impartial manner, hence they may become distorted or biased. This results in Bias in attribution or ?Attribution Bias?. This happens as: 1. People are cognitive misers. Individuals do not want to out in the mental effort necessary. Thereby not examining all the attribution evidence present and coming to a quick conclusion as opposed to a right one. ...read more.


In the second test (when multiplying by 20) Student B did as well as Student A. The result was that when Student B did badly the teacher blamed it on the student?s inadequacies. However when Student B did well the teacher took the credit for it, claiming it was because of good teaching and not necessarily because of Student B?s hard work. Another instance of self-serving bias is in professional sport. In a study done by Lau and Russell (1980), coaches and professional athletes attributed 80% of their wins to internal/dispositional factors such as skill. In contrast, losses were attributed to external/ situational factors. A study done by Abramson et al. (1989), showed that depressed people attribute their success to external/situational factors and their failures to internal/dispositional factors. Miller and Ross (1975) argued that several instances of self-serving bias were rational and not for maintaining self esteem. They claimed that if trying harder did not enhance performance, then it could be concluded that there was an obstacle in the task. However if trying hard produces results then it is logical to attribute to ones self. ...read more.


Where as when writing about their best friends they made the same number of situational attributes as dispositional ones. For e.g. ? he majors in chemistry as he wants to make money.? The result of this experiment was that people tend to attribute their behavior to external causes, as they themselves are variables. However they attribute some else?s behavior to dispositional factors. When actors observe others behavior they lack adequate information and therefore rely more on Fundamental Attribution Error. But when observing one self-actors have more knowledge of intention, behavior and various situational factors. In a study done by Storm (1973) actors were made to see videotapes of their behavior in a particular situation. After seeing the video the actors made less situational attributions in comparison to the observers. Researchers have found that when actors know the observers well, they tend to succumb to bias less. This is, as they would know the motivation, needs and situation in the individual?s life. There fore the external factors that affect the behavior are accounted for In conclusion there are several errors in attribution including the ones mentioned above. Each of these errors are common in our daily life if not committed by us. Knowing these errors exist explains a great deal about human behavior and attribution. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. Explain the various approaches to psychology and the people who pioneered them

    Watson Attempted to show conditioning in human beings, in 1923 he trained a child to be terrified of furry objects by clanging a metal bar behind the child every time it held a furry toy. This would not be ethical nowadays.


    Certainly not passing the acceptable ethical standards these days. (McGreevy and Boakes, 2007 :2) When conditioning animal's responses the animal trainer uses reinforcement or punishment. There are various ways of training but most trainers use the principles of behavior analysis and operant conditioning.(McGreevy and Boakes, 2007 :3) However training of animals is most apparent in the domain of hunting and herding.

  1. Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour.

    Personality is often defined in terms of traits, which are dispositions to behave in a particular way over a range of similar situations. According to the trait theory, the dispositions of a person exhibit cross-situational consistency (behaving in the same manner in a variety of related settings)

  2. Ethics In Psychology

    The 1979 Belmont Report (formally titled the "Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research") and the creation of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) were both catalysed by the 30-year US Tuskegee Syphilis experiments, which are today considered "the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S.

  1. How Psychology Could Help Reverse the Trend in Obesity

    although this theory started to lose favour for dietary restraint theory which posits that restricting food intake leads to an evolutionary response causing the person to value energy rich foods more highly when it was found that neither fat nor thin people showed much capacity to regulate their intake in relation to internal cues (Rodin, 1980).

  2. SL Psychology IA - Iconic Memory

    This relationship between memory stores begins to explain the complexities of memory encoding, re-coding and storage. This experiment aims to replicate the findings of Sperling's (1960) experiment investigating the capacity and duration of the iconic memory by altering the delay after a visual offset.

  1. Psychology Internal Assessment

    This is the area of focus of our experiment. If a person is deemed as attractive, then this person will also be presumed to hold a host of other positive attributes as well as this. A study by Soloman Asch suggests that once a positive trait becomes a central trait, we tend to base other traits of the person as being just as positive.

  2. To what extent is positive education in classroom settings successful in enhancing students happiness?

    In terms of positive psychology character strengths are defined as a ubiquitously recognized subset of personality traits that are morally valued. In addition to being valuable in their own right, character strengths are proposed to have important benefits for wellbeing and to contribute to success in important life domains (Peterson & Seligman, 2004).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work