Fundamental Attribution Error

Personality Definition: A personality is a mixture of a person’s characteristics, beliefs and qualities which make them who they are.

Fundamental Attribution Error Definition: The tendency to focus on the individual and reasons why they did something, based upon their personality, whilst overlooking external factors, such as social aspects and contextual influences.

The Fundamental Attribution Error often means there are false reason why something happened, we have to look into why something happened, but look at it in a broad way, not just straight away looking into people’s minds and behaviour. We must look at the external influences to gain a proper picture of what is going on.

Below I have provided some examples of individual factors which affect people;

  • Not coping with work
  • Learning problems
  • Personality problems
  • Communication problems
  • Perception problems
  • Motivation problems

We can now look at some context factors which may be affecting how someone works, or say how a shop operates;

  • Competition
  • Not enough demand (sales going down)
  • Taxes rise
  • Social problems
  • Political problems
  • Economic problems
  • Technology problems

Now we can have a quick look at group factors which affects employees and their businesses;

  • Group formation problems
  • Group structure problems
  • Group process problems
  • Group progress problems
  • Teamwork problems

Management factors can also affect the above;

(Ross, 1977)

Key Learning Points

  1. How Would You Define Personality?
  2. What is the Fundamental Attribution Error?

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