The Fundamental Attribution Error

Note: These questions are part of a larger data base of questions on module 6. The questions 
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expect to see many of these very same questions on that exam. Exam questions, however, 
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---- Use these sample questions to test yourself & to practice for the test. ----

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


6. Situational is to sympathetic as dispositional is to


7. Individualistic is to situational as collectivist is to

 eastern civilization.
 western civilization.

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

 our own 
 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: 

 social comparison. 
 the halo effect. 
 cognitive dissonance. 

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

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

11. The fundamental attribution error is reduced when 

 the actor & observer switch perspectives with each other. 
 more than one observer accounts for the actor’s behavior. 
 the observer does not know the personal identity of the actor. 
 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 

 original attribution. 
 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. 

                             Social Psychology
                               Robert C. Gates