The Fundamental Attribution Error

This is the error I commit most frequently.

Say I give someone a snippy response or show up late to something or fail to do something I've said I would do.  I know my life and can explain away these shortcomings to my situation.  I was tired.  There was traffic.  I bit off more than I could chew.

My failings, I attribute to situational factors.

But not other people.  No, they're mean, not tired.  They're disrespectful, not held up in traffic.  They're promise-breakers, not calendar-optimists.

The failings of others, I attribute to character.

This is the Fundamental Attribution Error.  This is the nugget I learned about in psych classes that I think about most often.  And this is all over the place.

What would happen if we reversed it?

What would happen if we took situational factors into account?
What would happen if we examined our own character more deeply?

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