Unformatted text preview: res.18 This tendency is
called self-serving bias, and it is interesting because it suggests that people will
explain the very same behaviour differently on the basis of events that happened after
the behaviour occurred. If the vice-president of marketing champions a product that
turns out to be a sales success, she might attribute this to her retailing savvy. If the
very same marketing process leads to failure, she might attribute this to the poor performance of the marketing research firm that she used. Notice that the self-serving
bias can overcome the tendency for actors to attribute their behaviour to situational
factors. In this example, the vice-president invokes a dispositional explanation (“I’m
an intelligent, competent person”) when the behaviour is successful.
Self-serving bias can reflect intentional self-promotion or excuse making.
However, again, it is possible that it reflects unique information on the part of the
actor. Especially when behaviour has negative consequences, the actor might scan
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- Spring '14
- Jerome Bruner