Knowledge will not be acquired without pains and application. It is troublesome and deep digging for pure waters; but when once you come to the spring, they rise up and meet you. -- Felton.


Top of Page


Links:    •  Notes - FAE
                •  Self Test (Print Ready)
                 •  SP Topic Index

Ψ  Self Test for Fundamental Attribution Error

Note: These questions are part of a larger data base of questions on module 6. The questions are selected to represent the type of question you should expect on unit exam one. You can, in fact, expect to see many of these very same questions on that exam. Exam questions, however, may deal with topics not covered in the self tests or in lectures but are discussed in your textbook. You are responsible for the content of your text book plus the content of lectures, interactive activities, & material on the web site.

    Use these sample questions to test yourself & to practice for the test. Click on your choice to see if you are right.

1.  The fundamental attribution error involves the tendency to

•  overestimate situational causes of behavior.
 •  underestimate dispositional causes of behavior.
  •  underestimate situational causes of behavior.
   •  discount dispositional causes of behavior.

2.  We commit the fundamental attribution error when we explain other people's behavior. Our own behavior we often explain in terms of

•  the actor.
 •  charisma.
  •  the situation.
   •  personality.

3.  Which of the following is not one of the three covariation factors?

•  Consensus
 •  Consistency
  •  Distinctiveness
   •  Competence

4.  As the once-visible person recedes in memory, observers often give more and more credit for a given behavior to

•  the person.
 •  the situation.
  •  internal personality factors.
   •  external personality factors.

5. Internal is to dispositional as external is to

a reaction.
b situational.
c overstatement.
d correspondence.

6. Situational is to sympathetic as dispositional is to

a benefit.
b internal.
c attribution.
d unfavorable.

7. Individualistic is to situational as collectivist is to

a sympathetic.
b dispositional.
c eastern civilization.
d western civilization.

8. We are less likely to commit the fundamental attribution error when
explaining _____ behavior.

a friendly
b our own
c aggressive
d other people’s

9. People who are perceived as being physically attractive are also often viewed as more intelligent, more kind, & more successful. This is called:

a conformity.
b social comparison.
c the halo effect.
d cognitive dissonance.

10. We tend to automatically believe that the scripted behavior of an actor reflects

a inner dispositions.
b audience pressures.
c powerful environmental forces.
d a carefully prepared social script.

11. The fundamental attribution error is reduced when

a the actor & observer switch perspectives with each other.
b more than one observer accounts for the actor’s behavior.
c the observer does not know the personal identity of the actor.
d the actor’s behavior is not personally relevant to the observer.

12. As time goes by an observer tends to give more credit for the cause
of behavior to the

a person.
b situation.
c original attribution.
d opposite of the original attribution.

13.  Another term for the fundamental attribution error that many social psychologists prefer is

•  dispositional error.
 •  actor-observer bias.
  •  correspondence bias.
   •  correspondence inference.

•  Print Friendly Version

Social Psychology
Robert C. Gates
Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.  -- Freud