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A parent consoling a child and correcting their attribution of winning and losing to the situation and actions not to personal traits

Attribution bias

Attribution bias includes a set of more specific biases where we may attribute behaviour to fixed personality traits or characteristics of a person rather than specific circumstances or actions. For example, a child may be labelled a genius or gifted when they actually had a supportive environment and worked hard, or someone may be labelled a loser rather than recognising specific circumstances that led to some failures.

Criticism — one of the four horsemen of relationship apocalypse — can become toxic when it's attributed to someone's personality traits. For example, calling someone 'lazy' rather than sharing how it makes you feel when they don't keep the place tidy.

A form of attribution bias may be applied to whole societies via the Destiny Instinct.

Specific examples of attribution bias include the fundamental attribution error and self-serving bias.

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