Overturning the Fundamental Attribution Error of Social Psychology

The “fundamental attribution error” beloved of social psychologists suggests we attribute too much of other peoples’ behavior to their character and disposition, but not enough to the social situation facing them.

So on a remote hiking trail we stop to help a collapsed person while in a busy city street we dont’. Must be situational the social psychologists say?

Except the person, who does stop to help in a busy street is presumably someone disposed to kick over the social situation framing and do the right thing. Screw you social situation…Just as there were people in France during the German occupation disposed to resist. And there are people today disposed to kick against the social situation and resist the plutocracy. So how do we educate such traits of resistance to social situations that disempower us and make us feel hopeless is a more interesting question for social psychologists? And for the rest of us, how do we cultivate a societal garden that supports more pro-social behavior?

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Processes, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES, Philosophy of Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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