Share
Explore BrainMass

Social Psychology - Fundamental Attribution Error

I need help with the questions in preparation for my final copy. Thank you.

Overview:

Please review the scenario below. You will use this in each unit of the course.

In this scenario, you are Director of Operations for Faraday Enterprises and have worked for the company for three years. As a director, you have nine salaried employees and three hourly employees at the corporate office with you, as well as 25 salaried operations managers in field/store locations.

In your job, you are responsible for all operational issues in your organization as they relate to the field offices. That is, you are the corporate face to the field/store locations.

Your responsibilities include rollout of new hardware and software to the company, participation in new product development, and customer service support. In addition, you conduct specific Human Resource activities which include hiring, promoting, evaluating, and firing employees for your staff.

Assignment:

One of your responsibilities at Faraday Enterprises each year is to conduct a performance appraisal or evaluation for each of your employees. At the beginning of December, you begin to collect your thoughts concerning each employee. As you do this, you become particularly concerned about Tim for the following reasons:

-Tim has been late and has left early many times in the past 2-3 months
-Tim appears tired and lethargic many times during each week
-Tim has not been following up with clients or team members as quickly as he has in the past (although his timing is still within standards for his job).
-While you are satisfied with the quality of Tim's work, you want to address these performance issues with him.

1. First, write up your 1-2 paragraph concerns, based on the information presented.
2. Next, define "Fundamental Attribution Error." This is an error that we make when looking at explanations for our own and others' behavior. Be sure to define and describe this error, and why it so easily occurs. Use the Cybrary, Internet, and other resources to research this definition.
3. Then, describe how this type of error influenced the type of concerns you wrote up earlier in the paper.
4. Finally, describe some techniques or approaches you could use that would minimize or eliminate making this type of error in a work situation. Use the Cybrary, Internet, and other resources to research appropriate techniques.

Solution Preview

Please see the updated response below (original response is attached). I also included an APA resources to help you with your final copy.

UPDATED MARCH 19, 2010:

1. First, write up your 1-2 paragraph concerns, based on the information presented.

In this question you are asked to pretend that you are the person (the director) concerned about Tim's behavior in regards to an upcoming performance appraisal of his behavior, along with other employees as well. So, as you begin to collect your thoughts concerning each employee, your concerns about Tim include:

-Tim has been late and has left early many times in the past 2-3 months
-Tim appears tired and lethargic many times during each week
-Tim has not been following up with clients or team members as quickly as he has in the past (although his timing is still within standards for his job).
-While you are satisfied with the quality of Tim's work, you want to address these performance issues with him (from above scenario)

2. Next, define "Fundamental Attribution Error." This is an error that we make when looking at explanations for our own and others' behavior. Be sure to define and describe this error, and why it so easily occurs. Use the Cybrary, Internet, and other resources to research this definition.

This question is straightforward, as you are asked to use the Internet or other resources to define the Fundamental Attribution Error.

One definition of the Fundamental Attribution Error s as follows:

The fundamental attribution error "is a common type of cognitive bias in social psychology. Essentially, the fundamental attribution error involves placing a heavy emphasis on internal personality ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses the questions embedded in the scenario about mental shortcuts and biases in decision making. Updated March 18, 2010. An APA resource is also attached.

$2.19