NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ833206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6283
The Power of Situations: Jonestown and the Fundamental Attribution Error
Riggio, Heidi R.; Garcia, Amber L.
Teaching of Psychology, v36 n2 p108-112 Apr 2009
The fundamental attribution error (FAE) is the tendency to overestimate dispositional and underestimate situational causes for others' behavior (Ross, 1977). Undergraduate students (N = 155) explained the causes of a person's "bad day." The experimental group completed responses after viewing a documentary on Jonestown and discussing situational factors in that environment; 3 other groups completed responses after a research methods lecture (control) or lectures on the FAE. Participants exposed to the film made significantly fewer dispositional and more situational attributions in explaining the target's bad day compared to control participants and more situational attributions compared to lecture participants. We discuss implications for teaching psychological principles using real-life events. (Contains 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A