Error # 1 Research Summary - Fundamental Attribution Error

In 1977, a study conducted by Lee et. al wanted to determine whether students would make the fundamental attribution error even when they knew that all of the actors had a role. The participants were simply university students. In the study, the participants were randomly assigned tone of three roles: contestants on the game show, members of the audience, or a game show host. The game show hosts were instructed to construct their own questions, and the audience then watched the game show through the questions. After the game show was over, the audience was asked to rate the participants based on their level of intelligence. They consistently recognized the game show host as the most intelligent, although they already knew that the roles were randomly assigned and that the questions were written by the game show host themselves. Thus, they failed to attribute roles to the person’s situation, which was being allowed to ask the questions but instead attributed the individuals performance towards intelligence—in this case dispositional factors.

Crane John, and Hannibal Jette. Psychology: Course Companion. Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Error # 2 Research Summary - Self-serving Bias

Self-Serving Bias is the tendency of seeing others or situation responsible for failures while seeing oneself responsible for the success in a way to protect their self-esteem.

Elizabeth Posey, Randolph A. Smith
Ouachita Baptist University

The Self-Serving Bias in Children

Aim: to investigate self-serving bias in children
Participants: 20 male and 16 male second graders
Second grade children paired with a same sex partner and asked to complete 3 minutes math worksheet as a group. Half of the groups were paired up with friend while the other half were not. And they were informed that their collaboration will be graded as well. At the end they received feedback that indicates their success or failure.
The people in nonfriend groups had propensity for blaming the bad performance to their partners and give self- serving response. Also when they were asked who did better job, they tend to give credit for themselves, demonstrating self-serving bias. On the contrary children paired with friend in failure group were less likely to blame others or situational factors for their failure.