The attribution bias

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English: Normal distribution with bias

English: Normal distribution with bias (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The word of the day is ‘job’ – J-O-B…you gonna look for a job today!” With a nod the dad in Friday, we begin today with the bias of the week – the attribution bias. Don’t be that guy. However, if you are that guy, it may be outside the scope of your abilities to change. (Yeeeaaah?)

The attribution bias is a good time…it goes something like this:

  1. “My negotiation went well because I really held firm” and “Your negotiation went well because circumstances were in your favor.”
  2. “My project is not on time because this person could not deliver her part, and we did not get funding, and…” and “Your project is not on time because you simply did not get the job done.”
  3. “The sale happened because of the previous work I did with client X, and I really won them over with my pitch” and “Your sale happened because our company had the best product offering.”

We are all subject to it, but for the sake of those who must needlessly waste energy rolling their eyes, understand that it is out there. Resist the urge to think you have really looked at the situation objectively. You haven’t. In fact, your mind is specifically designed to ensure that you have not looked at the situation objectively.

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One Response to “The attribution bias”

  1. The week in review | It's more fun than a TPS report... Says:

    […] Krugman wrote a nice counter to those that say data does not matter. As an economist turned procurement consultant, I hope he’s right…mostly because I seem […]

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