Correspondence bias

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The correspondence bias is the tendency to draw inferences about a person's unique and enduring dispositions from behaviors that can be entirely explained by the situations in which they occur.

Gilbert and Malone, The correspondence bias

An example of the correspondence bias may be found in viewing someone kicking a vending machine - we think that obviously they must be innately angry people. Yet when we kick a vending machine it is the obviously justified result of our failing grade on a test, the revocation of our driving license and the machine eating our money for the third time this week. We think of the other person as an evil mutant and ourselves as righteous actors.


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