July 12, 2009

Cultural differences in the fundamental attribution error

Osaka cab view

In Himeji, on total down time, riding a simple bicycle and doing nothing. I think I may've outgrown the idea that a vacation should be judged by how many intoxicants are consumed and how much sex is had. All of this just ahead of my [next] mid-life crisis, which should see a tremendous regression on all fronts.

The contrast with last summer could hardly be greater, when I was working all the time and feeling wasted. I have work with me here, but it's an hour or so in the morning, an hour or so at night.
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. ...

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. ... 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.
Excerpted, cut and pasted from Wikipedia

No comments: