Motivation and emotion/Book/2022/Fundamental attribution error and emotion

Fundamental Attribution Error and Emotion:
What is the relationship between the FAE and emotion?


Figure 1. People often attribute other's actions to their character or personality, instead of their circumstances.

The fundamental attribution error describes perceivers’ tendency to underestimate the impact of situational factors on human behaviour and to overestimate the impact of dispositional factors” – Bertram Gawronski, 2007



Fundamental attribution error was created in 1977 by social psychologist Lee Ross – Bertram Gawronski, 2007

Jones and Harris (1967) hypothesised that people would attribute free-chosen behaviours to dispositions – Dr Saul McLeod, 2018

Emotions and fundamental attribution errorEdit

Case studiesEdit

Two studies attempted to document the occurrence of the psychological phenomenon known as the fundamental attribution error (FAE) in the audiovisual medium.

Emotional and the ultimate attribution error: a case study on the influence of specific emotions (fear and anger) on the ultimate attribution error.,of%20others%20(Ross%201977).

Other attribution biasesEdit

Culture biasEdit

Actor/Observer differenceEdit

Dispositional attributionsEdit

Self-serving biasEdit

Defensive attribution hypothesisEdit

Cognitive dissonance theoryEdit

Counterarguments against fundamental attribution errorEdit

“The actor-observer hypothesis (which is closely linked to the fundamental attribution theory) is neither firmly established, nor robust” – Bertram F Malle, 2006.


See alsoEdit

Fundamental attribution error and emotion (Book chapter, 2020)


1 internal = cognitive bias page

1 external = research gate paper

External linksEdit