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Thinking About Situational Factors and the FAE (20 points)
Instructions: Circle the best answer where appropriate, and complete short-answer items as briefly as
possible. Each item is worth 1 point or as noted.
1. Suppose you’re at the store asking a clerk a question, and the clerk speaks abruptly to you. There are at
least two possible reasons: something about the clerk’s personality or something about the situation. If
you are like most people, you might initially commit the fundamental attribution error and assume that:
A. the clerk is a rude person.
B. the clerk is having a stressful day.
C. you said something that accidentally offended the clerk.
D. either B or C
2. Suppose you’re walking down an alley in a large city and see someone sleeping who appears to be
homeless. You may wonder to yourself, “Why is this person homeless?” If you were to commit the
fundamental attribution error, which of the following explanations might be your answer?
A. The local economy is in bad shape, closing plants and laying off workers.
B. Maybe this person’s home burned down recently, and the government has not yet acted to help.
C. Homeless people tend to be lazy or too irresponsible to hold down a job.
D. Either A or B could be your reason.
3. According to lectures thus far, situational factors might help explain:
A. why some minority group members score lower than Whites on academic achievement tests
B. atrocities such as ethnic cleansing and genocide
C. reckless driving behavior
D. all of the above
4. In addition to the examples above (e.g., homelessness), what are some other predicaments or instances of
suffering that might be caused …
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