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  1. #1
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    Default The fundamental attribution error

    Are you conscious on the fundamental attribution error?

    Shortly told, this is our tendency to explain other peoples failures by their inherent qualities, while we blame our own failures by situational explainations.

    We don't know all factors which lead to other peoples failures, and we are less interested in making excuses for their behaviour.

    For our own failures on the other hand, we have knowledge of things that prevented us to succed, and we are very interested in protecting our self-image.

    "If other people fail, it is because people are idiots. If I fail, it is also because other people are idiots" :P

    This is one of those errors of thought that are easy to understand, but hard to adjust to. We are constructed to think less of others and more of our selves, and I also think this dynamic is useful for society as a whole. If we where always conscious on why people do what they do, we might start making excuses for harmful behaviour, or we'd lowered our standards so much that the world would stagnate.

    What do you think of this?

  2. #2
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I think for some people the reverse is often true as well. Holding themselves to higher standards than others...
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trondor View Post
    ...

    "If other people fail, it is because people are idiots. If I fail, it is also because other people are idiots" :P

    This is one of those errors of thought that are easy to understand, but hard to adjust to. We are constructed to think less of others and more of our selves, and I also think this dynamic is useful for society as a whole. If we where always conscious on why people do what they do, we might start making excuses for harmful behaviour, or we'd lowered our standards so much that the world would stagnate.

    What do you think of this?
    Sounds...narcissistic. I don't know if that's a good thing, but assuming it is, then having too much of it will lead to major social problems, resulting in things that are just plain destructive like wars, violence, constant-aggression, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Sounds...narcissistic. I don't know if that's a good thing, but assuming it is, then having too much of it will lead to major social problems, resulting in things that are just plain destructive like wars, violence, constant-aggression, etc.
    Ofcourse, there must be a balance. However, too much understanding might leave us in a rut, accepting everybodys weaknesses and not encouraging growth.

    I think leaning too much into either direction are harmful

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I think for some people the reverse is often true as well. Holding themselves to higher standards than others...
    I've read somewhere that introverts tend to do that.

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    Energizer Bunny Resonance's Avatar
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    As I tried to become more conscious of this, I realized that everyone else was doing it too and it was just so frustrating that I went back to being oblivious.

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    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trondor View Post
    Ofcourse, there must be a balance. However, too much understanding might leave us in a rut, accepting everybodys weaknesses and not encouraging growth.

    I think leaning too much into either direction are harmful
    Technically, wouldn't that really fall under misunderstanding?? I don't understand how better understanding someone wouldn't lead to utilizing a human being's most potential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Technically, wouldn't that really fall under misunderstanding?? I don't understand how better understanding someone wouldn't lead to utilizing a human being's most potential.
    Perhaps. Yeah, perhaps full understanding makes one better at making other people grow, since you then know their weaknesses.

    Still, my own tendency to see reasons but not solutions might be what lead me to think that understanding can be bad. For everybody has reasons for their behaviour, even bullies and criminals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Technically, wouldn't that really fall under misunderstanding?? I don't understand how better understanding someone wouldn't lead to utilizing a human being's most potential.
    I just realized I probably have used a wrong definition here. In norwegian, the words accepting and understanding are somewhat connected, at least in daily speech.

    Understanding is always good, acceptance not always. Like the difference betwen empathy and sympathy, empathy (understanding people) is always good, as that is insight, while sympathy (wishing people well) might blind you for realities.

  10. #10
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I notice that people shift attribution a lot, in conflicts and debates. It seems to be a natural human desire to be right, and project their flaws onto others. I call it "inertia". We don't want to change or move (or stop, or change course if we're already moving relative to another), so we only want others to.
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