Attribution lecture reading

Attribution lecture reading - Psychological Bulletin...

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Psychological Bulletin © 1995 by the American Psychological Association January 1995 Vol. 117, No. 1, 21-38 For personal use only--not for distribution. The Correspondence Bias Daniel T. Gilbert Department of Psychology University of Texas at Austin Patrick S. Malone Department of Psychology University of Texas at Austin ABSTRACT The correspondence bias is the tendency to draw inferences about a person's unique and enduring dispositions from behaviors that can be entirely explained by the situations in which they occur. Although this tendency is one of the most fundamental phenomena in social psycholoxgy, its causes and consequences remain poorly understood. This article sketches an intellectual history of the correspondence bias as an evolving problem in social psychology, describes 4 mechanisms (lack of awareness, unrealistic expectations, inflated categorizations, and incomplete corrections) that produce distinct forms of correspondence bias, and discusses how the consequences of correspondence-biased inferences may perpetuate such inferences. Portions of this article were written while Daniel T. Gilbert was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. That fellowship was made possible by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and by a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (1-KO2-MH00939). The generous support of these institutions is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Josh Aronson, Brian Giesler, Tory Higgins, Lee Ross, Bill Swann, Yaacov Trope, and several anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. The article benefited immeasurably from the comments of the late Ned Jones. Correspondence may be addressed to Daniel T. Gilbert, Department of Psychology, University of Texas Austin, Mezes Hall 330, Austin, Texas, 78712. Electronic mail may be sent to [email protected] Received: March 2, 1993 Revised: May 24, 1994 Accepted: May 30, 1994 One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear. ( Friedrich Nietzsche, 1886/1984, p. 59 )
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Despite the homilies of philosophers, no one has yet found a simple formula for understanding others. The problem, of course, is that a person's inner self is hidden from view. Character, motive, belief, desire, and intention play leading roles in people's construal of others, and yet none of these constructs can actually be observed. As such, people are forced into the difficult business of inferring these intangibles from that which is, in fact, observable: other people's words and deeds. When one infers the invisible from the visible, one risks making a mistake. Three decades of research in social psychology have shown that many of the mistakes people make are of a kind: When people observe behavior, they often conclude that the person who performed the behavior was predisposed to do so–that the person's behavior corresponds to the person's unique
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 1003 taught by Professor Quigley during the Spring '07 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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Attribution lecture reading - Psychological Bulletin...

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