Dispositional attributions

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by LightInTheDarkestNight, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. LightInTheDarkestNight

    LightInTheDarkestNight Well-Known Member

    Why do you think we as humans often tend to rush to dispositional attributions when we are judging others behavior?

    Do you find yourself that you rush to dispostional attributions? I can tell you in the past I have done this myself. If someone is involved with you being harmed or someone you know it's not hard at all to write them off quickly as a bad person. On the surface it can easier to make sense of things if the person is just bad.

    Reading Dr. Z's 20 hints for resisting unwanted influences made me wonder what your opinions on this topic are.(http://www.lucifereffect.com/guide_hints.htm) one of them being what I quoted below.

    Correspondence bias is quite similar in how we tend to attribute others actions to their disposition. Fundamental attribution error is also along the same lines. http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/fundamental_attribution_error.htm

    Correspondence Bias

    When we see a person doing something, we tend to assume that they are doing this more because this is 'how they are' -- that is because of their internal disposition -- than the external environmental situational factors.
    There are four main reasons for this correspondence bias:
    -Lack of awareness. If you do not know that a person is being threatened, then you are far more likely to assume they have a nervous disposition. This can easily happen when the situation is not physically apparent, such as when a person is in the first day of a new job.
    -If I believe that a teacher is all-knowing, then I expect their first lesson to be as good as their hundredth. Likewise if they have just taught a lesson that bombed. Even if am aware of these factors, I expect them to perform consistently.
    -Inflated categorization. My expectations of the teacher are made worse if I expect all teachers to be equally competent. Likewise, if I categorize all questions as showing that you don't know things, then I might assume that when the teacher asks the student questions it is because the teacher does not know the answer.
    -Incomplete corrections. I can further infer incorrectly about the teachers questions, such as that they are asking the wrong questions and hence do no understand their subject.
    Jones and Harris found that people decided that students who had written pro- or anti-Castro essays were actually pro- or anti-Castro, even when the participants knew that the students had been instructed to write the essays in this way.
    When I buy something from the corner shop and the owner does not serve me with a smile, I assume it is because he is a miserable old fool.
    So what?
    Using it
    If you want a person to be perceived by others to have a certain disposition, maneuver them into a situation where they perform actions whereby it may easily be assume that this is because of their disposition.
    When you do something and others are observing, think about how they are attributing to your disposition. Correct their perception as necessary.
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