Fundamental Attribution Error - Cultural Differences in The Error

Cultural Differences in The Error

Generally, the fundamental attribution error has been researched central to a social cognitive framework. Barring this however, there are many cultural differences which arise when attempting to explain this error. Previous research has shown that cultural differences exist in the susceptibility of making fundamental attribution error: people from individualistic cultures are prone to the error while people from collectivistic cultures commit less of it. It has been found that there is a differential attention to social factors between independent peoples and interdependent peoples in both social and nonsocial contexts: Masuda and his colleagues (2004) in their cartoon figure presentation experiment showed that Japanese's judgments on the target character's facial expression are more influenced by surrounding faces than those of the Americans; whereas Masuda and Nisbett (2001) concluded from their underwater scenes animated cartoon experiment that Americans are also more likely than Japanese participants to mark references to focal objects (i.e. fish) instead of contexts (i.e. rocks and plants). These discrepancies in the salience of different factors to people from different cultures suggest that Asians tend to attribute behavior to situation while Westerners attribute the same behavior to the actor. Consistently, Morris & Peng (1994) found from their fish behavior attribution experiment that more American than Chinese participants perceive the behavior (e.g. an individual fish swimming in front of a group of fish) as internally rather than externally caused. One explanation for this difference in attribution lies in the way people of different cultural orientation perceive themselves in the environment. Particularly, Markus and Kitayama (1991) mentioned how (individualistic) Westerners tend to see themselves as independent agents and therefore prone themselves to individual objects rather than contextual details.

Read more about this topic:  Fundamental Attribution Error

Famous quotes containing the words error, cultural and/or differences:

    Truth is one, but error proliferates. Man tracks it down and cuts it up into little pieces hoping to turn it into grains of truth. But the ultimate atom will always essentially be an error, a miscalculation.
    René Daumal (1908–1944)

    All cultural change reduces itself to a difference of categories. All revolutions, whether in the sciences or world history, occur merely because spirit has changed its categories in order to understand and examine what belongs to it, in order to possess and grasp itself in a truer, deeper, more intimate and unified manner.
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831)

    The differences between revolution in art and revolution in politics are enormous.... Revolution in art lies not in the will to destroy but in the revelation of what has already been destroyed. Art kills only the dead.
    Harold Rosenberg (1906–1978)