Fundamental Attribution Error


Fundamental Attribution Couples Therapy


Fundamental attribution error in relationships refers is a tendency to explain our own behaviour in situational terms and our partners ‘ behaviour in terms of character deficits. Attributions are another word for explanations and we can become quick to explain our partner’s behaviour in ways we would not judge ourselves.

For example, let’s say your partner forgets to pick up groceries on their way home from work. If you commit the fundamental attribution error, you might immediately assume that they forgot because they are lazy or inconsiderate, without considering other factors such as a busy work schedule, fatigue, or distractions. In this case, you are attributing their behaviour to their personality rather than considering the situational factors that could have contributed to the forgetfulness.

The fundamental attribution error can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in relationships because it often involves making negative judgments about the other person based on limited information. It is important to be mindful of this bias and to consider both the person and the situation when trying to understand someone’s behaviour in a relationship. Effective communication and empathy can help to overcome the fundamental attribution error and promote healthier relationship dynamics.

How fundamental attribution error couples therapy can help

Couples therapy can help you both identify if fundamental attribition error is happening in your relationship. Often people are unaware that they might be thinking this way about their partner. If you would like to book an appointment for couples counselling. Please click here Book Now

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