MCAT Flashcards

MCAT Flashcards: Fundamental Attribution Error

What is fundamental attribution error? Ken Tao is an MCAT expert and explains it as attributing other’s behaviors using the person’s internal characteristics as opposed to external factors. For example, if a person is late to a meeting, they must be irresponsible when in fact they may have had a flat tire.


Full Transcription

In this flash card video, we’re going to discuss “What is fundamental attribution error?”

Fundamental attribution error is attributing other’s behaviors using internal characteristics as opposed to external factors. For example, if a person is late to a meeting or likely to think this person must be irresponsible, they’re disrespectful, they don’t care about other people’s time. So we’re using an internal characteristic to explain their behavior.

And this is as opposed to using an external factor. For example saying that maybe this person was late because traffic was really bad that day.

So in other words, fundamental attribution error is the tendency for people to believe that a person’s behavior reflects who they are.

Ken Tao

Ken is nationally recognized as a premier MCAT mind. He has worked with thousands of undergraduate students as a graduate teaching assistant and MCAT instructor/tutor for the Princeton Review. At Princeton Review, Ken was the only tutor certified in all subjects, was one of the highest rated MCAT tutors ever and was a teacher trainer. Additionally, Ken worked to found Magoosh's MCAT division. He has written content for dozen's of MCAT books and guides. He is now the Director of MCAT at MedSchoolCoach

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