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  1. #1
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    Arrow Fundamental Attribution Error & Typology in practice

    The Fundamental Attribution Error:
    When we are unable to fully realize the specific circumstances and perspective from which a person is making their decisions, reaching their conclusions and emerging with their behaviors and attitudes, we are unable to see a condition in which we might do the same, and so instead we tend to attribute it to something fundamental about the person, who they are and how they are different from us. Personally, I tend to view it as a red flag for a narrative, the difference between an understanding a person and describing a character in a story someone tells themselves.

    This can greatly impact how we practice typology:
    In practice, we might be conflating our notions of how other types behave with circumstantial behaviors. This is probably common in situations were certain social roles create a demand for certain behaviors - so your boss might be more likely to be feel like a ExTJ and your therapist might feel more like an IxFJ, because the first is under pressure to get things done and the 2nd is motivated to understand where you are coming from. Over time, it might even change how they see themselves.
    It's even possible that we'll use framing to make a mental fence dividing the same behaviors into the situations in which we are able to understand the circumstances and situations in which we aren't, identifying the first as our own type or a type that has more in common with us and the later as a more distinct type, despite resulting in the exact same behavior.

    A step above that, understanding this can either cast doubt or greatly improve how we think about typology:
    It is possible that the fundamental attribution error is at the core of typology, and without it there would be nothing left. But I think its also possible that we could use this understanding to do typology better, by stripping away the notion that these are fundamental attributes of how the person is behaving, we can try to empathize with the assumption that however they are behaving and whatever decisions they are making must make sense to them and is legitimized from their own perspective and from their point of view, and use typology to better understand how people digest similar information to construct different points of view.

    What are your thoughts?
    In what ways have you seen people or caught yourself falling for the fundamental attribution error when practicing typology or trying to understand a person or a type? In what ways do you think typology still holds merit, obscures our willingness to understand where other people are coming from and instead attribute it to type? Alternatively, can typology help us overcome this by allowing us to see how people might be coming from a different perspective then we'd otherwise assume?

  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Oh i get fundamental attribution error applied to me all the time, and I probably do the same. I try to hang out with people twice in 2 different settings even if at first i'm like oh a fucking needle dick, because I get angry when people write me off after a short meeting. Hmm I dunno. I tend not to type people when I first meet them, I like to collect info and look at patterns over time and when I do that I'm usually correct on what their type is. So if I met someone at a party I don't think I could apply typology to the situation to be honest.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so
    Likes Mane liked this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Fundamental attribution error:
    It's not me, it was my circumstances, upbringing, etc., - vs.,
    It's your fault because of the stupid choices you make (idiot!).

    The fundamental attribution error isn't a primary issue for most Perceiving types who prefer to withhold judgment and gather data instead of rushing to judgment.

    The fundamental attribution error is primary to typism, and the judgments made toward others are inherently negative. Otherwise, what would be the point?

    In what ways have you seen people or caught yourself falling for the fundamental attribution error when practicing typology or trying to understand a person or a type?

    This can occur when the approach to a debate regresses to ad hominems. "If you weren't such an INTP you would believe differently." The cure to this is to focus on arguments and not on the people making them - usually. Although, understanding where people are coming from can take on different forms. I recognize that with my friend Andy everything he says comes from his strong Mormon upbringing, and that it is too powerful a force to be reasoned with. But that doesn't mean I'm going to attack him for being a Mormon (fundamental attribution - his Mormonism is the internal cause of his errors).

    Count the logical errors in the following statement made on this forum:
    "Im partly of German stock and I know all about the disgusting habits of your people's working class descendents."

    Being "German" is the fundamental attribution. There are other errors which I will leave to my gentle reader to sort out.

    And no, I don't make the fundamental attribution error.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    "In what ways do you think typology still holds merit, obscures our willingness to understand where other people are coming from and instead attribute it to type? Alternatively, can typology help us overcome this by allowing us to see how people might be coming from a different perspective then we'd otherwise assume?"

    I take it you're in college, @Jarlaxle. I feel like I'm doing a homework assignment for someone.

    Prior to typology, we think that everybody basically thinks the same way we do, although this may also be an element of type. The latter could use a heavy dose of typology to break them out of a mental habit that can cause them problems.

    For example, a friend of mine, who is very logical and phlegmatic, used to have his own business where his policy was to do things his way for customers. If the customer doesn't like it, then they can have a little chit-chat and come to an agreement. Instead, some customers would avoid the chit-chat, become more and more annoyed at the way he was doing the job, until finally they would blow up in his face about it. So much for his plan which involved assuming that everybody thinks the same way he does. They are not always rational and phlegmatic but sometimes irrational and choleric. But that's not attributing something to type; basic knowledge of typology can lift some people's thinking above the level of their own personal way of thinking. So instead of assuming that customers will choose to take the chit-chat route, as he would do, he would be up-front about how he does the job.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  5. #5

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    I posted lots about this at another time, I'm not sure I want to retread that well worn ground but the reality is that peoples opinions, peoples career path, its all used to attribute traits and type to them on this forum, its extraordinary, there is a shortage of ENTJs because ENTJs can only be chief executives or corporate bosses and consequently unlikely to be online looking up MBTI on a forum. That kind of thing.

    Its pretty superficial, simplistic and reductive an understanding of the ideas and the assessments they have spawned.

    A lot of the attributions here on the forum are a consequence of group dynamics on this very forum and often the folk demonology which has arise to associate itself with certain opinions and their associated typology.

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