Talk:Fundamental attribution error

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Reckless driver example should be replaced[edit]

It is falsely asserted here that running a red light is not reckless, if you are rushing someone to a hospital emergency room. To the contrary, emergency responders of all kinds (from law enforcement; fire departments; ambulance services) are trained and required by policy to slow or even stop at red traffic signals or stop signs, and not to proceed until it is safe to do so. If they, or anyone else, were to simply run a red light, it would indeed be reckless. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:54, 4 July 2013

Hi, I agree with you! Would you have a better example? Lova Falk talk 08:48, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Bump! I agree, terrible example. No good reason to go through a red light unless their pedal is stuck or brakes fail. ~unsigned — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Fixed now: focusses on the character and intention vs situation contrast of relevance. Also deleted the redundant second example. Tim bates (talk) 12:00, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Are we missing the natural explanation for FAE?[edit]

(As this is my first substantive suggestion, I may be guilty of introducing a personal opinion - If so please remove it) I was surprised to see no reference to the natural explanation for FAE, ie that the observer is likely to be correct in many (most?) circumstances. In the example of the person running the red light, the observer is presumably using his judgement that in the majority of such cases, the "reckless" assumption will in fact be correct, and that the "situational" explanation will in reality be rare. Our survival has always depended on making snap judgements on the basis of incomplete information. Most of the time we get it right - if we didn't we'd lose the survival race - although sometimes through lack of information (eg knowledge of the surrounding circumstances) we get it wrong. Our so-called "bias" is therefore often a healthy thing - it means that we reach the right decision in the majority of cases, something that enhances our chances of survival.

I am not knowlegable enough on the topic to know if this is a widely held point of view (and therefore ought to be included in the article), or simply my own erroneous analysis (and therefore should be binned). I have no references to offer. Kenny.devon (talk) 20:03, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

   Bias vs error now covered in the "does it occur" and explanations section Tim bates (talk)

Requesting a few amendments to the page's structure - for novice readers.[edit]

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has contributed to create this page I feel as though I now have some understanding of a topic that was brand new to me.

As a novice I found the addition of correctness, which is interwoven extensively throughout the page, distracting rather than helpful. Is it actually pertinent to the definition and subsequent explanation?

The opening definitional statement makes point that attribution error is the tendency to seek an internal reference when trying to explain a event; and in doing so, often ignoring a multitude of external factors that would also explain the event. However the example also then goes on and refers to the act of internal referencing as an error. I found this distracting as is it not self evident that it the definition of an error must therefore be an error?.

It also places the reader immediately within this "right/wrong" dichotomy rather than what I thought the definition was alluding to; "an action that is almost forgetfully narrow minded". It seemed to me from reading this page, that it was as though the person needs to be nudged and reminded that many other factors are at play. Is not the error therefore the process? Not the result?

Isn't it suggesting that this process excludes pertinent information often needed to better or more accurately explain an event? By using an example which makes explicit that the internal referencing was incorrect, and the external correct; adds another level of unnecessary complexity. This process is an error of interpretation that excludes other relevant information. I don't think its important or correct to elevate the internal process as 'always incorrect' and the external always correct. I very much doubt that is in fact the case. I don't know? I didn't see any references to research on how often this processing error leads to correct or incorrect assessments.

Regardless, even then it will be by matter of degree. Is not the central argument simply that people have a tendency to process information in a particular way that excludes information not at hand, external to the immediate viewing, and instead draw internally to produce understanding. And because of that subjectivity, we often see things incompletely or partially or quite inaccurately. Isn't it the processing of information that is pertinent to the definition? Not this ongoing thread of correct and incorrect. Isn't it more about clarity, perspectives and subjectivity?

My 2nd request - this page introduces a number of new theoretical terms to the reader. It also plays them against each other in an attempt to elicit variance between the terms and to produce greater clarity of meaning. Perhaps to a more seasoned reader this is sufficient? However, I found it often deflected and distracted rather than added clarity. The main reason, I believe I struggled to gain as greater clarity as I had hoped for, was the absence of more examples, especially working examples, where the term is employed in such a way to distinguish itself from other terminology used. So in that regard the examples need a two pronged objective. First, to elucidate and produce greater clarity, and second, to highlight how it is both similar and different to the other terminology.

I hope I don't seem critical or negative way? The fact is the page intrigued me enough that I completed reading the full text, something I rarely do. I just know that for me and perhaps other learned but still novice readers, the addition of a few more examples and practical situations would be very helpful. And add to the educational benefit of this page immensely. Thank you.

Two for one?[edit]

Hi, what is the difference between this subject and , if any? Merge? T (talk) 12:45, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Lede was difficult to understand[edit]

I edited the lede to make it remotely comprehensible. I hope I got it right. It could be much improved. (talk) 10:41, 7 July 2016 (UTC)