Think about how you would explain the following actions. In each scenario, an event is described. Use the events below to answer the questions:
1. John just failed his chemistry test
2. Donna received As on all her speeches
3. Karla received an F on her paper
4. Tim made an A on his final project
Part 1: Answer these questions:
A. In event #1, imagine John is your friend. What are some possible causes for “your friend John” to fail his chemistry exam?
B. In event #2, imagine Donna is your friend. What are some possible causes for “your friend Donna” to receive As on all speeches?
C. In event #3, imagine Karla is someone you very much dislike. What are some possible causes for “your enemy Karla” to receive an F on her paper?
D. In event #4, imagine Tim is someone you very much dislike. What are some possible causes for “your enemy Tim” to receive an A on his project?
Part 2: Review your answers Review the answers you wrote for A-D. We did not have much information about the student, the class, the assignment, or how other classmates performed on the assignments. For Part 2, summarize your biases in judging the events. Then describe how your emotions about the student might have influenced the attributions you made about his / her performance in class.
Fundamental attribution error refers to emphasizing on internal dispositions instead of external factors as a cause of behaviour. John failed his test because he did not study well. I am resorting to the fundamental attribution error. Since the result is negative, which is failing, one is likely to attribute it to internal traits. John is not a hard worker so he failed, ruling out all the possible external factors that could contribute to him failing in his text.
In the second scenario Donna received an A in all her speeches, I would attribute it to external causes for her success. The teachers were either partial or she was plain lucky. The fundamental attribution error does not focus on positive results being an outcome of internal dispositions.
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