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Word Count: 2,498
The age old saying People are what they do has long been ingrained in the psyche of every individual in every culture It is even stated in the Bible regarded by many as the book of truth that every man should be seen in the light of his actions In other words good people only do good deeds while evil people only perform evil deeds However the world in which we live in is not that clear cut As we all know a killer can also be a kind and loving father to his children as in the case of Nazi officers during World War Two This mistake of judging a book by its cover is referred to as the correspondence bias The correspondence bias refers to the tendency of individuals to underestimate the impact of situational factors and to overestimate the role of dispositional factors in other peoples behaviour Ross 1977 Another term for the correspondence bias is fundamental attribution error In other words individuals tend to underestimate the importance of situational factors and to overestimate the degree to which an action and its outcomes reflect on the actors disposition The term fundamental comes about due to empirical findings that seemingly suggests that the tendency to underestimate the impact of situational factors and to overestimate the role of dispositional factors in other peoples behaviour is both widespread and robust Reeder 1981 The world in which we live in is such a large place with so much information people categorise and generalise all manner of things in order to get a sense of mastery of their own environment Thus it is no surprise that individuals categorise and generalise about other people They do so in order to get a basic understanding of different people from different backgrounds ethnicity and culture This allows individuals to interact more effectively should they meet a person from a strange land However categorisation and generalisation can and usually
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