Fundamental Attribution Error

Our latest financial psychology term describes how we can sometimes fall prey to errors in decision-making about others. The American Psychological Association defines fundamental attribution error this way: the tendency to overestimate the degree to which an individual’s behavior is determined by his or her abiding personal characteristics, attitudes, or beliefs and, correspondingly, to minimize the influence of the surrounding situation on that behavior (e.g., financial or social pressures). Your neighbor who is still unemployed …

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