Reading Notes & Thoughts from…
By Jessica Stillman , Inc Magazine
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Defensive Attribution. Getting more upset at someone who commits a crime we feel we could have fallen victim to ourselves. This pattern of attributions, known as self-serving attributions, serves to defend or bolster individuals’ positive view of themselves (their self-esteem). People even sometimes set up an impediment to success prior to difficult evaluative situations so that they can have a ready defensive attribution should they subsequently fail. If they fail, they can then blame the impediment. For example, a student can go out drinking the night before an important exam, or procrastinate and only begin studying the night before the exam. Should the student then do poorly, he or she can defend against the self-esteem threatening possibility that he or she lacks the ability to do well by blaming a hangover or lack of preparation. This well-documented phenomenon, known as self-handicapping, demonstrates that people are often motivated to engage in defensive attribution to protect their self-esteem.
Just-World Hypothesis. The tendency to believe the world is just, so any observed injustice was really deserved. An excessive focus on how things “should be” in your mind.
Naive Realism. Thinking we have a better grasp of reality than everyone else.
Naive Cynicism. Thinking everyone else is just selfishly out for themselves.