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The fundamental attribution error: a phenomenological critique

Langdridge, Darren and Butt, Trevor (2004). The fundamental attribution error: a phenomenological critique. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43(3) pp. 357–369.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/0144666042037962
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Abstract

The fundamental attribution error (Heider, 1958; Ross, 1977) has been extensively researched and explanations sought within a social cognitive framework. This work is reviewed, and it is noted that there is no unifying theory to account for the extensive catalogue of experimental work. Social cognitive explanations have proposed distinctions between perceptual, inferential and motivational functions within the person to account for the phenomenon. A phenomenological critique of this approach is then advanced. Drawing on the thought of Merleau-Ponty (1962) it is argued that our understanding of the phenomenon is enhanced by focusing not 'inside' people, but on interactions between them. In many ways, this brings us back to the project of Gestalt psychology, Heider's original framework for studying attribution.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2004 The British Psychological Society
ISSN: 2044-8309
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Psychology in the Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 8364
Depositing User: Darren Langdridge
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 13:18
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/8364
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