RationalWiki's 2020 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2120Goal: $3500

Ultimate attribution error

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Tell me about
your mother

Icon psychology.svg
For our next session...
Popping into your mind

The ultimate attribution error is when a person attributes negative behaviors by members of another "group" (nation, race, religion, etc.) to their inherent character, while explaining away any positive behavior on their part as being merely circumstantial. This is a way in which the cognitive bias of prejudice is retained, despite evidence against it being presented.

An example of this was found in a study revealing that Hindus observing negative behaviors among Hindus attributed these behaviors to external factors, while the same behaviors among Muslims were believed to be deficiencies of character. Muslims concluded the same thing about Hindus.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. Taylor, D. M; Jaggi (1974). "Ethnocentrism and Causal attribution in a South Indian Context". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 5: 162–171.