Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

the actor-observer effect?

Does anyone kow anything about this actor-observer effect found in the process of attribution?

It refers to the tendency to attribute ones own behaviour to situational factors (ie.behave that way because of the situation you are in), and to attribute others behaviour to dispositional factors (ie. they acted that way because that is there personality).

This is a well known bias in cognitive psychology and has very strong research to back it up.

So, when doing an experiment about how people attribute dangerous driving, and you get a result that people made more dispositional attributions about their own behaviour than others (ie. they were more likely to say that they drove dangerously because it is their personality than that others did) why could it be??

Im stuck trying to figure out why dangerous driving attributions would not be liable to the actor-observer effect!

Thanks for any ideas


****Please Note: I have done this experiment and found that the actor-observer effect DIDN'T apply, and now i am trying to figure out why

just to clear up any confusion, I do know what the actor-observer effect is and what the results of this experiment should look like, but they didn't.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oh, I suspect both apply.

    "Gee, officer, I was driving fast because my house is on fire..."

    Or more likely, "Gee officer, I was driving fast because my wife here is pregnant and her water broke and she's going to deliver any minute now!"

    Or maybe even, "Gee, officer, I guess I was driving a little fast, but you see, I just robbed that bank back there, and I was in a hurry to get away."

    These would be situational or "actor-observer" factors.

    Then there is...

    "Gee, officer, that guy who hit my car was weaving in and out of traffic...I'll bet he's drunk or crazy!"

    Or maybe, "Gee, officer, I had to go fast, the guy behind me was right on my tail, I was afraid he was going to hit me!"

    Those would be "The other guy's personality."

    Does that do you any good?

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The answer should be A., if I understand the actor-observer method correctly.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.