Fundamental attribution error
- We explain other's behaviour in terms of dispositional causes, but our own in terms of situational causes – Actor/Observer effect (AOE).
- FAE is due to perceptual salience - for the actor the situation is most prominent so they give situational explanations; for the observer, the actor is the most salient aspect of the perceptual field, so observers explain behaviour in terms of the actor.
- FAE is a bias rather than an error
- Demonstrates cultural differences (Western ‘individualistic’ cultures focus on the power of the individual, so see things in terms of individual success/failure rather than the situation; Indian Hindus do not (Miller, 1984)
- An important factor that biases our explanation of why people behave as they do
- Storms (1973) showed that change in perceptual perspective changed the reasons people gave for behaviour