The tendency to believe that what people do reflects who they are that is, to overattribute their behaviors to their personality and underattribute them to the situation or context.
As an example of the behavior which attribution error theory seeks to explain, consider the situation where Alice, a driver, is cut off in traffic by Bob. Alice attributes Bob's behavior to his fundamental personality; e.g., He thinks only of himself, he is selfish, he is an unskilled driver. She does not think it is situational; e.g., He is going to miss his flight, his wife is giving birth at the hospital, his daughter is convulsing at school
Behaviors don’t necessarily reflect personality but behaviors have a lot to do with situation. So if people behave in strange ways look at the situation they are in. And what are the pressures in the situation that make them act this way. There is a bias that we’ll know social psychologist called fundamental attribution error. If you see people acting a certain way you think it is because of their personality. But it not might be the case. It’s quite likely that the situation is making them do. I would like people to know that motivation is complex and that People do good things for the mixture of a good and bad reasons and they do bad things for the mixture of good and bad reasons. And I think there is a point that educating people in psychology is to make them less judgmental. Just to have more empathy and more patience. And being judgmental doesn’t get you anywhere. –. In Farnham street: 17:00 Fundamental Attribution Error.Daniel Kahneman